Published: April 2008
Readers who selected this book also read: Blue Suede Shoes
by Thanassis Skroumbelos.
Smugglers, prisoners, gamblers, stooges, patricides, children of spouse killers, murderous mothers, defeated rebels. And more: a Japanese writer who commits suicide with his pen, a desperate Russian woman who sneaks over the border in a mafia truck smuggling arms.
What’s the link in this incongruous world of Smugglers
? The answer: corruption as a way of life. Corruption as the natural extension of Evil. Corruption as the driving force of History as, in real life, Yangos Andreadis’s heroes are not people on society’s margins but simply disenfranchised because of the official view of a dark period of Greece’s history. Andreadis’s protagonists comprise the black history of a corrupted state and the tortured consciousnesses of its citizens, the microhistory of a world where the boundaries between the honesty of its citizens and dishonesty, consciousness and the unconscionable, heroism and betrayals, responsibility and corruption are constantly shifting, if not nonexistent.
It stands to reason that if you’re one of the hunted you don’t think like a hunter and if you’re corrupt to the core, then you can’t lecture others on ethics. Yet this incongruity is precisely what makes Andreadis’s book fascinating: the ease with which some characters can slip from one reality to the other as if, literally, nothing is happening—or rather as if this moral vacillation has nothing to do with them, as if this singular smuggling of consciousnesses is defined by some natural law above and beyond them which, nonetheless, the reader is continuously called upon to validate.
is a strange, bracing narrative, a dense palimpsest of dark stories that is completed in homocentric circles which, on the surface, don’t seem interrelated but that emerge as a coherent, in its plausibility, portrait of an oppressive Evil State where corrupt institutions produce corrupted minds.
Read an intriguing interview with the author and an older review by Kostis Papayorgis in the Readers Guide.