I DREAMED OF THE ELEPHANTS
Naklada Ljevak, 2011, 256 pages
• complete translation available in German and Spanish
A crime novel but also a great literary and social study of traumatic times in Croatia and its characters. A revealing story about the pathological affinities between the secret services and politics that have the elusive appeal of organized crime: typical social-pathological phenomena.
Andrija Sučić, a former soldier and a former member of the personal guard of the first president of Croatia, was executed in front of his own home. He talked too much: mass graves, the killing of civilians… and then there was the strange case of the elephants. It was insane and dangerous for those who had done business during the war and for those who tried to strengthen their political career in the new Croatia. His death does not seem to matter to anyone except to his secret son Boško, who works at the National Security Service and decides to investigate the death on his own. Boško’s inquiries lead him to the state’s criminal underground, where prosecutors and powerful politicians mingle with mobsters and then shamelessly return home after their reign in “the three streets in Frankfurt in which German is not spoken”. The second novel by Ivica Đikić describes, through the voices of several narrators, some dark times in a bright and sharp prose that affirms him as one of the greatest exponents of the new Balkan narrative. The novel won prestigious T-portal Award for the best novel published in 2011 in Croatia. Đikić depicts a dramatic and exciting side of the transformation; the transition from socialism to democracy.