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Description - Nine by Andrzej Stasiuk

"Nine" is a brilliant novel from one of Europe's finest writers. It tells of a post-communist generation of young Poles among whom the strictures of the old collide daily with the freedom of the new, adrift in moral space and disconnected from family, neighbours, and friends. It is the story of Pawel, a young businessman, in debt to loan sharks, seeking help from former friends, many of whom are now prominent in the city's drug-dealing underground; and of Warsaw, a hostile landscape of apartment blocks, factories, and suburban wastelands, 'a city that at nine-thirty goes to ground, coming to a halt, and giving time to those who have nothing to do.' In prose that is at once colloquial and lyrical, Stasiuk portrays a people in transition and a nation in the re-making. In the process, he has created an existential crime novel as well as a major work of art.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780436206368
ISBN-10: 0436206366
Format: Hardback
(222mm x 144mm x 25mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Harvill Secker
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 24-May-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Nine by Andrzej Stasiuk

Book Reviews - Nine by Andrzej Stasiuk

US Kirkus Review » A kaleidoscopic view of Warsaw in transition and in chaos, following the collapse of Communism, forms the core of this 1999 novel from the Polish author (Tales of Galicia, 2003, etc.).Grafted onto it is a melodramatic tale of flight and pursuit, which begins focused on Pawel, a failed businessman who falls into debt and goes "on the run" after he awakens one morning to find his apartment trashed, and realizes loan sharks are after him. As Pawel takes to the dingy, snow-clogged streets, the novel becomes a constantly shifting confusion of present action and flashbacks to various times in his childhood and less compromised adulthood, triggered by chance meetings, visits to familiar scenes and recurring dreams and waking fantasies. We meet his friend Bolek, a high-living drug-dealer with deep pockets, but without any particular concern about Pawel's plight; then Pawel's indigent buddy Jacek, an addict who drifts along in a passive detente with his several demons; the women in (or on the margins of) all three men's lives - and numerous other city dwellers whose relation to the aforementioned characters and to the novel's plot is sometimes left unexplained, sometimes clarified only many pages later. As we observe Pawel "gradually losing his fear, because he was losing hope," refractions of his personal history and his destiny are located in the figures and viewpoints of a woman neighbor (Zosia) who watched Pawel grow up, Bolek's henchman "Iron Man" (likewise enmeshed in dangerous pursuits), the menacing "blond man" who appears to be stalking Pawel, even Bolek's disoriented and paranoid guard dog Sheikh.The technique is masterly, and the carefully calibrated atmosphere of dread and threat beautifully sustained. But the effect is that of claustrophobic redundancy. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Andrzej Stasiuk

Born in Warsaw in 1960, Andrzej Stasiuk is the author of several major works of both fiction and non-fiction. He recently won the Nike, the most important literary award in Poland.

Books By Andrzej Stasiuk

On the Road to Babadag by Andrzej Stasiuk
Paperback, July 2012
Dukla by Andrzej Stasiuk
Paperback, October 2011
Nine by Andrzej Stasiuk
Paperback, April 2008