New Year’s Eve is a glorious night in all the nine stories which make up ‘Toccata’, the first part of Andrei Nikolaidis’s Anomaly. But then, that very winter night, the coordinates of space and time converge and trigger an unexpected unfolding of these stories, a literary process we may call satanas ex machina, when the Story of Stories – the fate of the world – unravels. All the scenarios and lives we have been pursuing abruptly become miniscule and unimportant, however soul-stirring or loathsome they were until recently.
The second part of the novel, ‘Fugue’, written in long, diarylike sentences, is calmer and more comprehensive, as the title suggests. The female narrator contemplates the beginning of the new year somewhere in the Austrian Alps, in the very eye of the cataclysm, which so far she has miraculously survived, while fearing for her small daughter.
Anomaly is Andrej Nikolaidis’s most bizarre, playful and spirited novel to date, an explosion of the grotesque, ironic and debauched, with an abundance of brilliant essayistic dissections and deconstructions of civilization, along with its philosophical and theological postulates.
FULL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATION AVAILABLE
“An apocalyptic cabaret. When all is over and this novel read, only thunderous laughter will hover over the ever-quieter waters.” – Kruno Lokotar
“Andrej Nikolaidis is an anomaly in our language and literatures, and Anomalija a novel in which the fanciful misanthrope – whose fancy and misanthropy are both on steroids – announces the end of the world just the way it deserves after what people have made of it: as a happy end. Anomalija is not recommended for those who read to rest and relax.” — Emir Imamović Pirke
“Anomalija is very playful and extremely smart. It is an amazing, well written novel, with not one single word being in excess. I highly recommend it, it is one of the best books I have read in a while.” – Senka Maric
“Although Nikolaidis used musical vocabulary in the construction of his (anti)novel, I think it would be more appropriate to compare it with the imaginative but also prophetic world of Salvador Dalí, which can seem woolly, but only on the surface.” – Večernji list
“The idea of the devil as narrator leads to the idea of literature or storytelling being the work of the devil, especially when you consider the way the stories end, deus or satan ex machina.” – Vladimir Arsenić
“Nikolaidis bitterly explodes all Balkan post-Communist myths. After reading it, you will hate life, but in an immensely happy way!” Slavoj Žižek
116 pages – Original language: Bosnian/Bosnia-Herzegovina & Croatia (Buybook, 2022). Foreign Editions: English/Uk & Commonwealth (Peirene Press, 2024); Montenegrin (Fokalizator, 2022)