Biografi: A Traveler's Tale / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Biografi: A Traveler's Tale based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Lloyd Jones has written what the travel literature and history freak like me needs to have next to his bed. This is one of those books that you pick up to 'read a bit before nodding off' and find that your alarm clock is showing you some ungodly hour when you finally manage to tear yourself away. After the fall of the iron curtain in Eastern Europe, some states like Hungary and Poland actively pursued a market economy with a certain degree of success. In other countries, like Rumania, the destruction to the infrastructure and the peoples motivation was far too great to expect immediate results; here the future is still uncertain. The complete other side of the coin is Albania. In Europe's most closed society, where people were virtually sealed off from the rest of the world for decades, it is foreseeable that the progression towards a brighter future will take much longer, and might possibly never come. One could disagree with me that there is no hope, but with the current state of affairs in todays Albania, who would want to invest in anything for the future? And can the Albanians do it on their own? In 'Biografi - a travellers tale', Jones takes us on a trip through Albania in part on a search for the man who was the former Albanian dictators trained double. Enver Hoxha was a man who followed the lines of history's largest mass murderer, Josef Stalin. His double was trained to fill in for him when it was either too dangerous or too bothersome for Hoxha to appear in public. I won't reveal here what happens, but it is the most clever premise for a literary and journalistic adventure I have ever stumbled upon. For readers not too familiar with the topic of present day Albania, I would suggest to first read 'The Accursed Mountains - Journeys in Albania' by Robert Carver. This book will give you in a more journalistic reporting style the current day situation and feel of this country. Another possibility for some background information is the chapter in Paul Theroux's book 'The Pillars of Hercules' in which he visits Albania (chapter 12). Then pick up Lloyd Jones' book. I don't think you will regret it.