From the familiar tone of this text, it may seem he writes about life rather than politics, but [Andrić’s] work is entrenched with the darkest political themes—farce, folly, and acute suffering ... If this novel had been published in English even half a decade earlier, it would be easier to see the over-the-top, narcissist, Machiavellian demagogue as pure contrivance; a textbook villain with no bearing in the real world; an utterly implausible leader. However, as Omer Pasha’s tactics are being deployed in everyday twenty-first-century politics, with devastating effects, the novel should not serve as a farce but as a warning ... In Hawksworth’s flawless translation, the writing never feels heavy with the burden of the events it covers. The subject matter is grim, but she retains the meticulous attention to detail, subtle humour, and ethnographic style of Yugoslavia’s literary grandmaster ... Masquerading as a biography of a single, larger-than-life figure, at its core, Omer Pasha Latas is a novel about how human beings treat one another.
...an often neglected work ... These stories within stories contain several marvels that highlight Andrić’s ability at narrative ... Unfinished at his death in 1968, Omer Pasha Latas feels whole here, for Andrić brings us closer to capturing something of the historical Bosnian past. Ultimately, this book is a welcome addition to Andrić’s works where the Balkans are revealed in measured prose and where Andrić’s post-modern narrative will elicit many well-deserved accolades.
This excellent novel from Nobel Prize–winning Andrić (1892–1975), never before translated into English, unfurls a vivid story set in 1850s Bosnia ... As the varied pasts of these characters are illuminated, a hodgepodge epic of the Ottoman Empire emerges, half The Red and the Black and half a sprawling meditation on identity, power, and corruption ... this is a peerless look at an often overlooked piece of world history.