I picked this up randomly in a very nice English-language bookstore in Tbilisi and let me tell you, it is a horrible boring novel. The author's, Zurab Karumidze, idea is fascinating enough, he factiously wants to retell Dagny Juel's - femme fatale and inspiration of the art scene in the bohemian Berlin of the late 19th century - last few days in Tbilisi before she is being killed by her lover. A young Stalin, Koba, is a character as are Georgian poets and writers, the book also abounds in impressively varied cultural and historical references. Still, the deal-breaker for me lay with the Karumidze's obsession with this Love Feast the esoteric, mystical attempt to create some kind of cosmic orgasm. Pages on end he talks about this and let's face it, I believe this to be nothing but superstitious talk empty of any meaning or significance. I came really close to not even finishing the book, which is something I usually never do.
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