I have been meaning to read this book which has been generally given positive reviews. I agree with “It’s a bizarre, looking-glass world that makes perfect sense when seen only from within, exactly like our own, if you just stop to think about it.” So true in the U.K. with politics like a play by Beckett or Ionesco!
I have a rather strange relationship with Albania, and I have never been there. Some forty or more years ago, during the days of would-be socialist nations, I discovered the nightly English propaganda broadcasts on Radio Tirana, which were preceded by the strident call-sign With Pickaxe and Rifle, and always ended with the words, “Goodbye, dear listeners!” followed by a rousing version of the Internationale. The broadcasts were so over-the-top that they caused much amusement. And there was the Albanian Shop, purveyors of propaganda and the party daily from a basement shop in a Covent Garden back street. Then I discovered the astonishing novels of the only Albanian novelist I’m aware of, Ismail Kadare. You will find reviews of some in these pages, if you care to look.
I think I’ve also read some travel writing about the country. So this book, about growing…
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