Translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać
The second novel by the highly praised post-war Croatian writer.
Oleg and Nikola—hustlers, entrepreneurs, ambassadors of capitalism—have come to the town of N to build an obsolete turbine, never mind why. Enlisting the help of former engineer Sobotka, they reopen the old turbine factory, preaching the gospel of “self-organization” and bringing new life to the depressed post-Soviet town. But as the project spins out of control, Oleg and Nikola find themselves increasingly entangled with the locals, for whom this return to past prosperity brings bitter reckonings and reunions. At once a savage sendup of our current political moment and a rueful elegy for what might have been, this sprawling novel blends tragedy and comedy in its portrayal of ordinary people wondering where it all went wrong, and whether it could have gone any other way.
Witty and ambitious, No-Signal Area is a sprawling novel, smart and just cynical enough to frame and give an edge to the abiding nostalgia that is its real subject. Robert Perišić's second novel to be translated into English is a cause for delight.