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Bosnian Chronicle: A Novel 1st Arcade paperback ed Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1559702362
ISBN-10: 1559702362
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This novel, the first volume in Nobel Prize winner Andric's Bosnian trilogy, debuted in 1963. LJ 's reviewer heaped upon it high praise, finding it "rich with humanity and the humor that comes with wisdom" ( LJ 11/1/63). The plot explores the lives of the inhabitants of the city of Travnik in the early years of the 19th century. With Bosnia much in the news these days, this remains "an essential addition for all fiction collections."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.


The wealth and variety of its fictional elements carry it so far beyond the confines of a straightforward novel, it cannot be limited to such a description. It puts one in mind of a collection of tales, but no collection of tales (not even A Thousand and One Nights) ever possessed such a unity and continuity of theme' George Perec. 'In a novel with the range and sweep of BOSNIAN CHRONICLE, the main conflict is between the large forces of history, religion and ideology of east and west. Their passing embodiment in lives vividly portrayed gives history a hundred telling faces and voices' Michael Schmidt. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1st Arcade paperback ed edition (September 7, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559702362
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559702362
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,507,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Most people, whether from the former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, tend to say that "Bridge on the Drina" is Andric's best work. Well, they are wrong. Bosnian Chronicle ("Travnicka hronika" in the original) is Andric's true masterpiece. Nominally it presents the life of Travnik, the Bosnian provincial capital during Ottoman rule, during the early 19th century in the eyes of the French and German consuls stationed there. Andric says so much about central Bosnia in the way he shows the effect the people and the land have on these foreigners. Stunning, beautiful. If you can't read it in the original language, Hitrec's translation is surprisingly good. If you read nothing else by Andric, read this.
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"Travnicka hronika" (The Bosnian Story, The Time of the Consuls... etc.) is Andric's second best work. I don't like ranking books, but I will dare to do it now. His major work "The Bridge on the Drina" (Na Drini cuprija) is a work of such originality and power, unequalled in literature... This book, however, uses a more conservative method, it talks about a smaller period of time and has a significantly smaller gallery of characters, all of which are, of course, very believable and beautifully depicted.

After opening it for the first time, I couldn't stop reading. It was so captivating that I read it in twice in the same week. Not many books do this for me.

"Bosnian Story" follows Austro-Hungarian and French consuls in the Bosnian city of Travnik over the period of five-six years. Andric didn't do much research for his novels, all his major works were written in Belgrade, during WWII, and all that time he almost never left his apartment. It is amazing that one can posses such great knowledge of Travnik and Bosnia, and most impressive of all, his depiction of Turkish, French and Austro-Hungarian politics is so accurate and clear.

What attracts me the most in Andric's works is his clear and simple, yet beautifully sounding sentence.

I strongly recommend you read this one. Chances are, you won't be disappointed. Simpler and less ambitious in approach, this book should perhaps be read before his masterpiece "The Bridge on the Drina."
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I read this book a few years ago, and still think about its stories and themes. This brilliant novel opens a window to the small Bosnian town of Travnik (Andric's hometown) where representatives of the great European empires have come to play out their epochal hostilities under the suspicious eyes of the local townfolk. While the novel takes place in the Napoleonic era, the story was written (as was "Bridge on the Drina") while Andric was under house arrest during World War II, and thus its story of great forces coming to shake up a small town can be read in light of more recent world changing events. I made a point to visit Travnik on a trip to Bosnia two years ago, and felt as if I already knew the town intimately: the remains of the Pasha's palace on the hill is still there just as Andric describes it, as is the town nestled in the rolling Bosnian hills replete with Turkish fountains and monuments. Sadly, the multiethnic character of the town is gone now, as Serbs such as Andric himself are hard to come by in this part of Bosnia, and Jews are even more difficult to find. By reading this book, however, one can briefly visit Travnik in its multiethnic heyday, and enjoy the depiction of comraderie and sparring between the different local ethnic groups before the age of nationalism truly took hold. Everyone I have met from the former Yugoslavia cites this novel as Andric's best work.
Incidentally, this book has been translated as Travnik Chronicles (the original title), Bosnian Chronicle, and Days of the Consuls (translated by Celia Hawkesworth). Also, a collection of Andric short stories, entitled "The Damned Yard" in the edition I have, also features several more stories set in Travnik around the same era.
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This is one of those rare perfect books. For my taste at least. I was amazed by the first page, and then by every other until the end. Fantastic! This is the only Yugoslav (that's Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Montenegran, and Macedonian) Nobel prize winner at his best. I think, I only read The Bridge on the Drina by him. And from this one I was expecting less, but got at least as much. In fact, if one of the two books is better than the other, then they both are. And they compare favourably to just about anything there is.
The scene is set in Travnik, Bosnia, in the early 19th century, a time when Napoleon was at his peak, Austria very strong, and Turkey still in control of much of the Balkans. Travnik was a vizier town at the time, which made it important enough for the French and Austrians to send their consuls there. Obviously, a lot of historical research preceded this book, but the blend of history and fiction is so perfect that we never know where history stops and fiction begins.
The story never leaves Travnik, although the tensions between France and Austria, the rebellion of Serbs, Napoleon's march to Moscow and his final defeat, are all reflected in the lives of people of Travnik, especially the two consuls and the vizier. But, there's no point in telling you the story, my mission here is to persuade you that this is literary genious at work on every page. Perfect in describing landscape, characters, events, a master of dialogues.
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