Publication Date: Jun 20, 2017
List Price US $17.95
Trim Size (H x W): 5.5 x 8.25
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A novel at once metaphorical and iconoclastic, The Parthenon Bomber exposes the painful and maddening paradox of contemporary Greece.
“Blow up the Acropolis” – the 1944 call to action by the surrealist circle the Harbingers of Chaos. Sixty years later, a young man obliges. The Parthenon has been destroyed, the city orphaned. Is it still Athens?
All eyes are on the empty hill, now ashen and smoky. Cries of distress, indifference, and zealotry fill the air. What were his reasons? How will he be punished for this unspeakable act of violence? What does it mean for Greece, now deprived of its most significant symbol?
This provocative tale reveals the unique dilemma of a country still searching for an identity beyond its past as the birthplace of Western civilization.
Excerpt from The Parthenon Bomber
It was summertime and the place was swarming with people. You couldn’t make out any individual faces on the CCTV screens. The crowd was too dense. The picture just showed a mass of moving people. The heat was horrendous. I had to stand out there in front of the sentry box and it was tough to stay concentrated. My mind kept drifting off to other things the whole time. The noise was a pain; people walking by and making an endless, muffled din. Never stopped, never changed, just the same buzzing tone we had to listen to for hours. People marching up, marching up, without a break.
It must have been midday and we were all dazed with tiredness, the sunlight, and this ball-aching heat. But it was exactly that day that I heard His voice. Very clearly, cutting through the endless chatter of the crowd, over the voices of other people, over the general racket. My first reaction was to put my head in my hands and check what I was seeing. I really did think my mind was playing tricks on me. That time of day was always the worst. I leaned against the wall, sweating, in the corner of the sentry box and closed my eyes. I heard Him whispering to me through the wall, like prisoners do from one cell to another. It wasn’t a dream.
“Deeply charged…One can read Ch.K. as a nihilistic heir of Albert Camus’ antihero Meursault, or one can see in Chrissopoulos’ plainspoken tale, told as a multipart procedural, an extended metaphor for the decline of Greece as a poor stepchild to the European Union, overrun by refugees and mired in apathy.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Inventive and disquieting, The Parthenon Bomber examines what defines us, what we take for granted, and what we assume to be lasting and true—and the unsettling way it might vanish in seconds. Chrissopoulos brings us to the darker corners of Athens—and every living, breathing city—to imagine a new, evocative reality where fact and fiction become terrifyingly blurred. This incisive, intelligent book hums with tension.” —Natalie Bakopoulos, author of The Green Shore and contributing editor at Fiction Writers Review
“In these concise pages with the weight of a case file, Christos Chrissopoulos explores the tragic fate of a self-proclaimed iconoclast attempting to articulate our fragility.” —L’Humanité
“This little literary gem questions the influence that historical monuments hold over the people.” —La Cause Littéraire