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Rezervatia unicornilor – First impressions 23/08/2015

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It’s part three of the trilogy Sânge satanic (Satanic Blood) by Cristina Nemerovschi, and M. is weary. Weary of the commercialism and general crapness that is Romania. And, perhaps, weary of being “the most amazing being that has ever existed”.
To recap, M. introduces himself thus:

I listen to black metal; I’m an atheist; everybody thinks I’m a Satanist; I’m bisexual, a misanthropist, sometimes just a misogynist; I’m writing a book; I drink every day, and do drugs every week. How does that sound as the start of a CV?

But M. has a way out. He has a deal. Correction: M. has a F**kin’ Deal. A F**kin’ Deal that will take him to the far north of Europe to deal drugs and escape Romania.

He planned to use his sojourn in Scandinavia for self-reflection. To work out where he was going and who he was. But that was before his drinking and drugs buddy A. wanted to come too. And as an added bonus, Tara, the dominatrix from Pervertirea and now A.’s girlfriend, decided to join them.

A. didn’t make much of an impression on me in Sânge satanic. It’s in the second part of the trilogy that he comes into his own as the most heterosexual and the unlucky one in the M.’s crowd. He somehow always seems to end up being chased by stray dogs on the outskirts of Bucharest or abandoned at the side of the road due to a marijuana-induced attack of diarrhoea. He is invariably in good spirits and in the mood to party.

With A. and Tara along for the ride – with some illegal drugs stashed in vibrators for good measure – anything could happen. I’m only just starting Part 2, with the flight north and A. worrying about his bowel movements in polar night and worrying even more about the aforementioned stash of drugs. Already windows have been broken, a shoe collection vomited on, items disposed of from balconies, and not one but two women have been left on the floor unconscious or possibly no longer breathing.

In short, we’re in for a riot.

Rezervaţia unicornilor is published by Herg Benet.


Perverted first impressions 21/05/2013

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My first impressions of Pervertirea (Perversions or Pervertedness) by Cristina Nemerovschi are mixed. I was a huge fan of her first book, Sânge satanic (Satanic Blood) – even though I freely admit that I didn’t understand more 50% of some of the drug-fuelled passages.

The novel is centred on four characters. Amalia, an adolescent who has disappeared. Ulf, a blocked writer. Corbu, a painter with a liking for Lolitas and older women. And Tara, a dominatrix.

Sometimes it feels like provocation for provocation’s sake. As if ketamine, bisexuality and immorality in Satanic Blood were not enough, Perversions includes Corbu eyeing up barely pubescent girls, and Tara desiring to be strangled during sex and whipping clients – and an assistant on a TV talkshow.

The themes and ethos of Perversions are similar to Satanic Blood: the same misanthropy, the “live for the moment, be true to yourself, f*ck everybody else” attitude. But Satanic Blood had a scathing humour that is, in my view, largely missing from Pervertirea. I’ll keep going though, Romanian-English dictionary by my side.