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Panos Karnezis' remarkable stories are all set in the same nameless Greek village. His characters are the people who live there - the priest, the barber, the whore, the doctor, the seamstress, the mayor - and the occasional animal: a centaur, a parrot that recites Homer, a horse called History. Their lives intersect, as lives do in a small place, and they know each other's secrets - the hidden crimes, the mysteries, the little infamies that men commit. Karnezis observes his villagers with a forgiving eye, and creates a world where magic invariably loses out to harsh reality, a world at once universal, funny and utterly compelling.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099433521
ISBN-10: 0099433524
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-May-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » In this collection of stories based on a Greek village 'so poor it doesn't even have a name', Panos Karnezis never misses an opportunity to ensure the reader makes full use of all the senses. Whether describing the nose-wrinkling unpleasantness of the public convenience at the train station or the feeling in the air before an earthquake, he doesn't waste a word. Mysteries abound among the basil-scented balconies, but as is often the case in small villages, secrets are hard to keep. When the local graveyard is hit by the malevolent earthquake, the contents of one coffin are revealed as nothing more human than heart-shaped stones. This discovery sets the local priest off on an investigation into a gruesome act of revenge that only he knows nothing about, and the unwritten rule of silence, so crucial to small settlements like this, is captured perfectly. There's much humour here too, and the pages come alive with the nuances of everyday life. There's the rivalry and bickering between a bus driver and his conductor brother-in-law, who have gone into business together and bought a bus they fancifully call Pegasus, and there's the poignant tale of the pensioner who dies from exhaustion while waiting for his turn in the Pension Office, and no one even notices in the heat and torpor of the room, paying no heed to the look on 'his strangely amused face'. As the characters come and go through these stories we get to meet all manner of humanity, from hangdog Whale who works in the dingy cafe, a slave to his ulcer, to the landowner, a genuinely evil sort who's about to get his just rewards. This is a constant, delightful outpouring of foibles and idiosyncrasies, poignant and funny, tragic and hilarious, all beautifully arranged by a true talent. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Panos Karnezis

Panos Karnezis was born in Greece in 1967 and came to England in 1992. He studied engineering at Oxford and worked in industry before starting to write in English. He studied for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of Little Infamies, a collection of connected short stories set in a nameless Greek village, and two previous novels; The Maze, shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread First Novel Award and The Birthday Party. Panos Karnezis lives in London.

Books By Author Panos Karnezis

Fugitives by Panos Karnezis

The Fugitives

Paperback, April 2016
Convent by Panos Karnezis

The Convent

Paperback, January 2011
Birthday Party by Panos Karnezis

The Birthday Party

Paperback, July 2008
Maze by Panos Karnezis

The Maze

Paperback, July 2007