Year of publication
Number of pages
Germany (Schöffling & Co.)
Italy (Del Vecchio Editore)
UK (Istros Books)
English pdf, German pdf
art, corruption, society, culture, elites, secret organisations, organised crime, Scientology, metaphysical detective story
by Aleš Šteger
It's carnival time 2012, and the Slovenian city of Maribor is the European Capital of Culture. In an attempt to maximise profit, local politicians and showmen peddle every possible art form. Amidst the hype, dramatist Adam Bely and Cuban-Austrian journalist Rosa Portero pursue a secret mission: to track down and overthrow the sinister octopus of thirteen selected persons that seems to be in control. On the way, they encounter a variety of important figures, all entangled in a web of corruption and lies.
In the traditions of Bulgakov, Gogol and Kafka, Aleš Šteger lets the forces of good and evil collide in this grandiose literary thriller. This is the debut novel by Slovenia's most important poet of his generation, a metaphysical crime story filled with striking personae, haunting images and a grotesque plot. It proves, in the end, to be a journey into the heart of a European darkness.
Longlisted for the Kresnik Award for best novel of the year 2015
With references to Bulgakov and Gogol, consisting of a string of grotesque scenes – right to the spectacular finale.
Aleš Šteger has done in the Slovenian what Michel Houllebecq had done in the French literary cosmos: with sarcasm and grotesque he took revenge on the world of media, journalism, literature, theatre, law, politics and many others.
Absolution is the great theme of Slovenians. At least on a rhetorical level. Do you want to forgive? And do you truly want to be forgiven? Regardless of the answer you should read Aleš Šteger's novel Absolution.
A sophisticated mix of fantasy-thriller and political satire.
You simply have to surrender to this book. It is a suspenseful read, comparable to Dan Brown – only much richer in style and vocabulary.