Nominated by:

Gradska Knjiznica Rijeka, Croatia

Publisher of nominated edition:

Istros Books, UK

Seven Terrors

Selvedin Avdić      

Translated from the original Bosnian by Coral Petkovich

2014 Longlist

After nine months of self-imposed isolation following his wife’s departure, the hero of Seven Terrors finally decides to face his loneliness and join the world once more. However, when the daughter of his old friend Aleksa appears in his flat one morning with the news that her father has disappeared, he realises that his life is again about to change. As the two search for clues in Aleksa’s war diary, unearthed in a library in Sweden, they come upon tales of unspeakable horror and mystery: meetings with ghosts, a town under siege, demonic brothers who ride on the wings of war, and many more things so dangerous – and so precious – that they can only be discussed by the dead.

As investigation into Aleksa’s disappearance continues, readers will be drawn further and further into a surreal world where rationality has vanished, evil spreads like a virus and not even love can offer an escape. While Charon, Hades’ mythical ferryman, can be found behind the wheel of a taxi and dead horses are seen flying across the sky, cracks begin to erode reality and people start to go missing. Here, amidst such chaos, our hero endeavours to cling to his sanity, doing his best to solve the riddle of Aleksa’s disappearance while attempting to save his own soul and bring love back into his life.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Selvedin Avdić’s first book was a collection of short stories called Tennants and other Fantoms, a tourist guide to the historic Bosnian town of Jajca and a factual account of Zenica prison. His short stories have also appeared in various anthologies and collections. He works as the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Zurnal and also edits his own radio show, Free Flight, on BH Radio. His first novel, The Seven Fears, was published in 2010.

Librarian’s Comments

The author offers an individual outlook of war, turning it into a story of individual tragedy. This is a story of fear, guilt and moral responsibility of an inhabitant of a town in Central Bosnia, who is guilty of innocence, refusing to be engaged when the gates of hell opened. The are seven blank pages at the end. The author claims that any person having less than seven personal terrors is less than human.

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