Monday 12 December 2011

Review - Counter Camouflage by Bojan Miladinovic

Counter Camouflage : Serbian urban storyCounter Camouflage : Serbian urban story by Bojan Miladinovic

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blurb From Goodreads

Incapacitating a home alarm makes you a skillful thief. Creating an alarm which can be incapacitated by special remote and installing it- makes you skillful and a very impudent thief. Branko's team for alarm installment becomes greedy, so, to avoid the jaws of the law, Branko takes the advice his old professor once gave him:" Sometimes when you don't know how to avoid danger camouflage yourself, perhaps the danger will avoid you." A few years later, he meets a girl who is crazy about medieval jewelry. Wishing to fascinate her, he tries to buy her a copy of medieval ring. However, he figures out pretty quickly that the only convincing copy is - the original. Once a thief - always a thief. Branko steals the ring from the museum, presenting it as a prefect copy. Once again, he tries to use the old trick the professor taught him, but this time he is forced to - counter camouflage

My Review

The blurb for the story drew me in as it sounds really good and to be fair there was parts of the story I did like. However, I found the issues and errors made through the story being translated really made some of it hard to follow or really annoying to read. There are some good turns of phrase that weren't lost during translation (although they are very few and far between) however one of my favourites was "you don't have to say anything I saw it in your eyes". This is in relation to the relationship with Olja and Branko who are our main characters.

I think maybe reading this story in the language it was written would make the whole story and reading experience very different but for me it was a struggle and that largely is down to how it has been translated which I feel is not the authors fault but whoever did the translating. My other issue is that some chapters you wouldn't be sure who the interaction was between until a few paragraphs or pages in which also took from the enjoyment. Maybe it would have helped it the chapters or page breaks had inserts for who was speaking or use their names in the dialogue more.

I have never read a novel set in Serbia before so found anything about the culture or laws really fascinating however I think there could have been a bit more for those of us who know nothing about it. For example there is a part in the book mentioned about a tradition on a day in March that women are not treated as equals, I would have liked to have known why even if just a few more lines.

I really enjoyed reading about the Griffon Vultures, again this was something I had never heard of before and the book does have a few interesting wee stories slipped in like this that kept me going.

The language was a huge issue for me which really affected how I enjoyed the book so sadly it is a 2/5 for me. I want to thank the author for giving me the chance to read their book and introducing me to their work and my first experience reading in Serbia.

This book is available on Amazon for £0.86 or on the authors site for free

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