LA MANO DE LA BUENA FORTUNA by Goran Petrovic

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdam Lozanic has in his hands a copy of Mi legado, written by Anastas S. Branica. The owner of the book wants to make some adjustments, and offers Adam a sum of money not negligible that would be good to help him finish his thesis.

In the mean while, he dreams to meet in his readings the girl of the warm smell.

Jelena wants to leave Serbia with all her strength, and for that takes her English studies very seriously. Meanwhile she is the bridesmaid of Mrs. Natalia Dimitrijevic, and one of her tasks is to make of joint readings where she discovers the literary world in which she doesn’t live alone.

When Anastas Branica was twelve years old, it begins what is called the beginning of his story. This day he discovered his particular gift, the longing he felt when reading a few paragraphs describing a sea view, gave him motivation and his small child’s legs moved downhill to the water until they were soaked and full of sand …

This is only a small summary of the great story that this book contains.

For me it is really difficult to review this book. It is one of the books that I most enjoyed in the last years and I don´t want to say how many times I re-read it.

The center of the story, and what can easily catch reader´s attention, is not only the small personal stories of the main characters, all of them full of complete lives that catch you from the beginning, not even that all of them have something in common: the love of books.

The real important point is that all of them are “real readers”, that means they are persons with the capacity, with the power to introduce themselves physically into the stories that they are reading, and take a walk, living what happens, not only with the fictional characters, but also with others “real readers” who in that moment are reading the same book.

Please, don´t say that the idea is not extremely attractive.

But, the book is not only interesting for this point of magical realism that adsorbs me completely, but as happens to me with other books, it is full of messages, worries, situations that seem to me as speaking directly to me, and I cannot stop myself to sharing here.

Before going to these sentences with special meanings, and for those that are curious about this book, I tell you that “La mano de la buena fortuna” is not only the book’s title, but the name of a shop that existed in the book, and that was closed a lot of years ago. The people who still have the memories of the shop can visit it and purchase the things, small important things that they can find only there, and that make a big difference.

Among the sentences of this review, some may seem misleading to you or even not see what the meaning is, but I think all hold great truth:

“There are things that can never be localized if they always remain in the same place”

“I lost a memory .. I lost a memory of my father … My God, how can I lose it! …”

“… I read and sobbing frightened by the possibility of being alone again in a world of sadly limited and interior ideas, in a world of still lifes, tables, columns of percentages and thousandths.”

“The young man spent hours and hours looking for words thin and soft enough to mend the damaged place”

“I open my eyes because I learned to not see”

Goran Petrovic was born in 1961 in Kraljevo (centraldownload Serbia), where he currently lives. He studied Serbian and Yugoslav literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade.

He currently works as a librarian at the Monastery Žiča. He is known for his novels, written in a style very close to magic realism. He has published a book of short prose Tips for an easier life (1989), the story collection The island and the surrounding stories (1996), the novel The Siege of the Church of San Salvador (Opsada crkve Svetog Spasa, 1997) Atlas described by heaven (Atlas opisan nebom, 1993) and the Hand of good fortune (Sitničarnica “Kod srećne ruke” 2000), a novel which won the NIN prize, one of the highest recognitions in their country.

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