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Nikolski

by Nicolas Dickner

An original and refreshingly different type of read. Three lives are subtly entwined but only the reader knows how, where and when. It's a sad novel - children leading unconventional lives, leaving home to make their way in the world as best way they can. There is no obvious conclusion offered which makes one hope things turn out okay for them. Quick and easy to read but also thought-provoking and poignant.

Extract

Her studio apartment is redolent with the smell of the sea. The kitchen counter is littered with the shapes of her last meals: grilled fish, poached fish, fish soup, shrimp chips. The area around the sink is overflowing with dirty dishes, soiled glasses, encrusted pots. The rest of the room looks much the same, and Joyce ambles through the disorder kicking lightly at the objects scattered on the floor.
The back of the room is taken up by a makeshift desk, built with wood lifted from a construction site. Two computers share this piece of furniture: Jean Lafitte (No. 54), in good working order despite the bruises, and Henry Morgan (No. 52), whose innards are currently exposed. The surrounding area is strewn with electronic remains, screwdrivers, stacks of floppies, piles of old modems. The space beneath the table is crammed with an automatic dialer, an antique fax machine and three boxes full of printed circuits.
The only analog object in the area is a bottle of Saint James. Joyce uncorks it with her teeth and pours herself a glass of rum.
Translated by Lazer Lederhendler

Parallels

Montreal Stories 3 (Selected Stories) by Clark Blaise
Northern Exposure - TV series
 

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