THREE

DRAGO GLAMUZINA

Profil International, 2008, 249 pages
• 18-pages excerpt available in English
• complete German translation

Three is one of the best novels published in Croatia in the past decade and a half.

Damir Radić | Croatian Radio 3

Everything in this novel is open, from its structure to the relationship between characters; everything here is high in intensity and does not tolerate to be read in intervals, but “in one sitting.”

Jagna Pogačnik | Jutarnji list

Unforgiving, forensically detailed dissection of passion, jealousy, infidelity and faithfulness is impressive and does not let to be forgotten.

Jadranka Pintarić | Vijenac

By identifying writing as a creative act and amatory spice, Glamuzina reminds of Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet.

Zdravko Zima | Novi List

This is a novel about lovers who are never just a couple in love – in fact they are always an un-couple. There is always a third person, a third wheel, and everyone is neither first, nor second but a little bit of the third. Glamuzina writes a layered, dynamic story of love that’s everything but routine. Three is a novel without compromise, a story to be remembered, a true provocation.

Robert Perišić | A Writer

The world in this novel, although seemingly rough and unpleasant, draws us with its incredible power because it offers a journey through a spiritual landscape not many have experienced. And intriguing story about love and torture, jealousy and gentleness, obsession and tolerance from which, through the splinters of souls, elementary humanity radiates. I can’t remember if we have ever read such a difficult story with so much ease.

Zoran Ferić | A Writer

Translation rights sold: Bulgaria (Hermes), Serbia (Rende), Macedonia (Makedonska reč), Slovenia (Beletrina)

Written in a style manner of Raymond Carver, with a subtle influence of Milan Kundera, this masterful novel about one-but-every love triangle gives us a fascinating and complex portrait of the love demon, the world whose beauty one can`t measure with black and white morality but rather feel under the pulse of the beating heart. 

Three is a love novel in which jealousy is most talked over. The center of the novel are three characters in a love triangle – Goran, a journalist and a writer, his wife Sandra, and his lover Hana. Goran and Sandra have lived together since college and they share an open and tolerant relationship in which it is allowed to go out with other people. They feel that no one can be forced to stay with someone else and that this trust and understanding they share are exactly what separates them from others. This is what makes their lives better, this is what is so difficult to find and create, and they are convinced that because of all this their relationship will endure everything. And it really has been so. For years. But, when Goran meets Hana, everything starts to change. Hana is passionate, wild, strange, and is neither wise nor tolerant. No, she is jealous, and her love destructive. Yet, Goran cannot resist her. Drawn into that vortex, soon he too becomes jealous and possessive, something he fought against his whole life. Hana wants to drive out of their life everything but the two of them, and everything starts getting in the way, both friends, work… and what once was love now turns into possessive obsession. Their relationship grows ever more destructive, and then also more trying and difficult to endure, until finally everything collapses under its own weight. The descriptions of this terrifying jealousy are the peak of the novel and thus it does not surprise that Hana’s character reminds many critics of Teresa, the heroine of Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. And all these passionate emotions and furious relationships are in complete contrast toward the style in which the roman is written – in cold minimalism with a distant narrator who tries not to be involved emotionally thus offering us a fascinating psychological insight of the nature of this difficult relationship. In this novel, the author presents both concepts of life, and both of them, the one based on tolerance and understanding and the one based on possessiveness, jealousy and exclusiveness, cannot survive the crash against life, because life always outsmarts us. For months Three topped the “most read” books lists in Croatia and it won the T-Portal Novel of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious fiction prizes in Croatia.