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ITHACA Online
Athens, Capital of the Balkans
 Petros Markaris

272pp.
Gavriilidis, 2004
ISBN: 960-336-058-9

Albanians, Bulgarians, Russians and Bosnian Serbs caught up in dodgy dealings feel the pressure in an Athens mired in corruption and crime.
Elements of detective fiction appear in various guises – sometimes as the basic narrative motif, sometimes entering from the wings to shed a slightly different light on an otherwise irrelevant story, and sometimes leaving only a barely discernible trace. The immigrants in these stories are self-serving, deceptive and violent, and the Greeks around them are no better, doing their utmost to push the outsiders over the edge.
The narrator never attempts to justify his persecuted heroes. His aim is not to protest at the misfortunes that have befallen them but to show the causes of their decisions.
Petros Markaris tackles one of the most serious social problems to face Greece in the past fifteen years, employing both a Brechtian detachment from his characters and the urban realism of crime fiction.


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