In much the way John Steinbeck laid open the migrant worker culture of mid-century California, Ikonomou exposes us to the realities of Greek poverty, the bitter taste of politics, and the generational divide. These stories are pitch-perfect, with sullen anger, wit, sharp humor, and tragicomedy captured in sharply crafted scenes that linger in the memory.
[The] phenomenon of internalizing national rot, of transforming economic hardship into a personal shortcoming, also points toward Something Will Happen’s biggest accomplishment. A political novelist’s first and most serious challenge is to humanize his subject matter, and in this Ikonomou succeeds completely. You will find no references to rising inflation rates or growing unemployment in his stories, or to the right-wing New Democracy or the left-wing Pasok. Politics—and politicians—remain a cruel and indifferent presence off-stage. Instead, we encounter ordinary people who are, despite skyrocketing unemployment rates, trying to negotiate a mounting pile of overdue bills.
In what one may expect to be a politically minded collection with professional protestors making large philosophical pronouncements, Ikonomou’s surprises are delightful. Each story is replete with hunger, lightheaded optimism, and the calculus of poverty ... These haunting narratives and their conversational titles have the poignancy to sink into a reader’s memory and life. Like Jose Saramago, Ikonoumou wields a catholic willingness for allegory. The collection may feel foreign perhaps, in location, and in its subject of the working-class, but not in content.