• The Great War

The Great War began for Dr Mehmed Greho when he was least expecting it, just when he was told that 'two important bodies' would be brought to the mortuary in that June heatwave.

The bodies could not be more important to the fate of Europe. They are the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. And so with their assassination the Great War of 1914 begins for over seventy characters across Europe in Alexander Gatalica's dazzling novel. The Great War begins for fictional lives as well as historical figures, such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, Leon Trotsky, Paul Wittgenstein and Adolf Hitler. Their stories continue through the four and a half years of bloody fighting until the end of the First World War. More than just a chronicle of the era, Gatalica's fine sense for drama, philosophical approach and touches of magical realism combine for an unforgettable novel, truly Tolstoyan in its scope, that marks the centenary of World War I like no other novel.

'A whirlpool of a book that draws in the reader, moving ambitiously across place, class and profession yet tying all into the dreadful pull of the first global conflict. A war that began in the Balkans now has a fitting literary epitaph from a giant among Balkan writers.' – Tim Butcher, bestselling British writer and author of The Trigger
'This may be the most noteworthy comic novel about the First World War since Jaroslav Hasek's The Good Soldier Svejk. – Mark Thompson, Times Literary Supplement
'The Great War is a rich and dense novel that often reads like non-fiction due to the breadth of scope and level of detail. Indeed a number of key players in the war, including Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron), are given space within the novel, joining a cast of over seventy characters both real and imagined. This vast collection of characters from all over the globe allows Gatalica to create a truly international book which covers a myriad of experiences from soldiers and spies to artists, journalists and singers … a gripping, confident novel which is both entertaining and surprising.' – Centenary News


ALEKSANDAR GATALICA is one of Serbia's foremost contemporary authors. He is also a translator (from Ancient Greek), music critic and editor. He has published six novels and as many collections of short stories.
Bibliographic Data
Date Published 11th November 2014
ISBN Number 9781908236203
Pages 416

The Great War

  • £10.99


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