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ITHACA Online
Xifir Faler
 Athina Kakouri

492pp.
Kastaniotis, 2009
ISBN13: 978-960-03-4907-8

Athina Kakouri subverts both her heroes and the genres of historical and spy fiction in her latest novel, set in 1916 Athens. Xifir Faler is named after a popular revue of the period, and the author has a playful take on secret diplomacy, spying and erotic intrigues at a time when Greece had not yet entered the war, and everyone was scrambling to make the most of it. The author uses the antics of individuals to create a picture of developments as the war between the Triple Entente powers and the Triple Alliance reverberates in the puny Balkan capital. Foreign embassies play an ongoing game with politicians and the press. Greeks from abroad serve foreign bosses. Diplomats and journalists promote their personal interests by any means; aristocrats refuse to emerge from their dusty shells; upper class girls bubble with life and passion; and street urchins mock one and all.


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