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Book recommendation and review Revolver : Milana Vuković Runjić

Today I'm going to talk about Revolver, a novel written by Milana Vuković Runjić. What kind of novel is this? An interesting one for sure. I'm tempted to call Revolver a parody novel, but that would be to simple.  On one level, this novel functions as a very entertaining light read. It certainly works well that way. Nevertheless, at times there are surprising moments of profoundness, introduced with the fantasy elements.  This novel can be read a sort of parody of crime novels and mobster films but it can also be read as sometimes more. I'm sure that Milana's readers will get what I mean by that.  As a parody, it is often quite funny. In addition, it quite successfully makes fun of many genre stereotypes. 


Kakav je ovo roman? Jako zanimljiv, to je sigurno. U iskušenju sam da nazovem ovaj roman parodijom, ali to bi bilo prejednostavno.  Revolver i je i  nije zabavno lagano štivo. Na jednoj razini je i dobro mu ide, ali u njemu ipak ima i iznenađujućih elemenata dubine koju su uvedeni s fantastičnim elementima. Ovaj roman se može čitati kao parodija, neka vrsta parodija kriminalističkih romana, ali se može čitati i kao nešto više. Sigurna sam da će čitatelji Milane znati o čemu pričam.  Kao parodija, često je jako smiješan. Uz to, jako se uspješno ruga žanrovskim stereotipovima.





This novel opens with a reporter who has a fetish for female bags. Unfortunately, Filip Latinovich also shares the name and last name with one of the most famous characters in Croatian literature which makes him a target of ladies jokes. He wants to find a girlfriend from Split city because there women supposedly don't read literature (how mean!) but the problem is that the average women from Split is over 5.9 feet (176-178 cm) and he likes petite women. Filip gets involved with a daughter of a mobster from Trogir ( Dalmatian town near Split) and he writes about their private relationship in the newspapers. In fact, our protagonist is not exactly a hero. He is, basically,  an insecure coward but that only adds humour to this read. Nevertheless, Fillip never feels real and because  he is such a boring guy, he is hard to sympathize with. Female characters, on the other hand, are very well developed and much more interesting than our protagonist. Two of my favourite characters are witch Amoreta and the wife of mobster Tuna, but there are plenty of other interesting (if not likeable) characters. I have no doubt that many would find this novel a  satisfying read.

Ovaj roman započinje s reporterom koji ima fetiš na ženske torbice. On dijeli ime s jednim od najpoznatijih likova u hrvatskoj književnosti, Filipom Latinovićem i to ga čini predmetom šali žena. Filip želi djevojku iz Splita jer tamo navodno žene ne čitaju ozbiljnu književnost (koji ružan stereotip!) ali problem je što je prosječna Splićanka visoka oko 178 cm, a on voli niske žene. Filip se spetlja s kćeri trogirskoga mafijaša i piše bez problema o svojoj privatnoj vezi u novinama. Zapravo, naš protagonist baš i nije neki heroj.  On je zapravo nesiguran kukavica, ali to samo je u službu humora.  Ipak nemamo osjećaj da je on stvarna osoba , a  i teško je osjećati prema njemu neku simpatiju kad je tako dosadan. Ženski likovi, s druge strane, su puno bolje razvijeni i puno zanimljiviji od našega protagonista. Dva moja najdraža lika su vještica Amoreta i žena mafijaša Tune, ali ima još pregršt zanimljivih ( ali ne uvijek i simpatičnih) likova. Nemam sumnje da bi mnogi uživali u ovome romanu. 



Are there any flaws in this novel? Well, I would have to say yes. I did enjoy reading it, but I don't consider it to be a complete success. It didn't quite make it to becoming a work of art, yet I had a feeling that it might have had, if you know what I mean. I'm not sure how ambitious the author was when she  was working on this one, but she did manage to create something interesting and new. That being said, this entire novel feels a bit rushed and confused to me, the characters and their destinies didn't really engage me and some of the dialogues felt a bit unnatural. I'm aware of the fact that this novel is sort of a parody, but constant allusions on crime families, popular news, mobster films and popular culture, created a sort of information noise that overshadowed the characters and the plot. Not that the novel isn't a good read, it's just a bit too much 'all over the place' for my taste. It is a good novel, but it is not one of Milana's best works.


Ima li ovaj roman nedostataka?  Morala bi reći da.  Nije da nisam uživala u čitanju, ali ne smatram ga potpunim uspjehom. Nije mi posve uspio u tome da postane umjetnost iako sam imala osjećaj da bi to mogao biti, ako znate što mislim. Nisam sigurna koliko je ambiciozna u pisanju bila autorica kada ga je pisala, ali svakako je uspjela stvoriti nešto novo i zanimljivo. Ipak, cijeli roman ima mi dojam zbrkanosti i užurbanosti, likovi i njihove sudbine su me ostavili ravnodušnom, a čak su mi se i dijalozi učinili neprirodnima. Svjesna sam da su na neki način parodija, ali gomilanje aluzija na kriminalističke obitelji, popularne vijesti, mafijaške filmove i pop kulturu, dovelo je do neke buke informacija i refrenci koje je pomalo pregazila i radnju i likove. Nije da roman nije dobar, ali je za moj ukus u njega ipak uključeno previše toga. Radi se o dobrom romanu, ali nije jedan od najboljih kada je riječ o Milani.







You can read my goodreads review here. Možete ovdje pročitati moj ogled na goodreads stranici.

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