Hidden Camera (Eastern European Literature)
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Customer Reviews:
  • It's all about labyrinths, & if Zivkovic didn't first get you good and lost, you'd never end up having this much fun.
    In Zoran Zivkovic's recent novel, "Hidden Camera," a neurotic undertaker returns home one evening to find that a movie ticket has been left anonymously for him at his front door. He goes to the theater at the Film Archive--now almost deserted because it is a Monday evening--as instructed and finds that the film will be shown only to him and a mysterious woman. The film turns out to be an amateur video in which the undertaker himself was secretly filmed while sitting on a park bench. After the brief showing, the lights come up, and the woman has disappeared, leaving only a ticket for another event that the undertaker is meant to attend later that evening at a used bookstore. So begins an eerie scavenger hunt tailored solely to the undertaker, who then races around his city at night to increasingly unlikely locations where he is presented with one bizarre spectacle after another.

    Zivkovic, a Serbian novelist, experiments with science fiction, existentialism, and metafiction and is often compared, appropriately, with Borges and Calvino. And "Hidden Camera" is a wonderful showcase for Zivkovic's talents. Nearly no twist or turn of this labyrinth can be foreseen, and the narrative provides a true edge-of-your-seat experience. Up till the very last page, I worried that Zivkovic wouldn't be able to pull off a real ending, and yet he did. Of course, that ending requires some work on the reader's part. It's fairly abstract, requires interpretation, and assumes that you've been paying close attention to the themes, symbols, and subtext. Even then, the book is a little like a riddle with a dozen possible answers, all of which (even cumulatively) fall just shy of a comprehensive solution. Still I found the climax tremendously rewarding. And Zivkovic gives you so much to remember and reflect on: harrowing suspense, indelible images, and scenes and settings that just keep getting more and more haunting and uncanny.

    Of course, this is not a book for everyone. But you're a good candidate for Zivkovic's existentialist scalpel if you've survived, with no serious side effects, Charlie Kaufman's films or any of Kafka's novels....more info
  • ZZ's Hidden Camera is Wonderful Fiction
    What would it take to shake you out of your normal world? How about an envelope shoved in your door that you find on your way home from work that contains simply a movie ticket to a show that very night? And what would you think if when you arrived you were ushered to a seat in an otherwise empty movie theater right next to a beautiful mysterious stranger? As the lights go down and the movie begins you see yourself seated on a park bench reading a book like you often do, but completely unaware that you are being filmed and a mysterious beautiful stranger approaches you and sits at the other end of the bench and gazes at you, again unnoticed by you. Is this part of one of those Hidden Camera shows and are you to be the butt of the joke? And then the show ends and the lights go out and everything you ever thought was real and important will be questioned and things will never be the same.
    What follows is a hidden camera view into the mind of the unnamed narrator as he continues on through an event filled night. There are tons of meaning to be gleaned from the symbolism in this story and a romp through symbiotic parallel worlds or alternate reality or visions or dreams or who knows what for sure.
    But all along the ride this is just fine descriptive surreal fiction from Zoran Zivkovic that explodes and sets your mind off in new directions.
    Highly recommended!!
    ...more info