Feb 28, 2020
The Question of Bruno
Posted by Aleksandar Hemon

In this stylistically adventurous, brilliantly funny tour de force the most highly acclaimed debut since Nathan Englander s Aleksander Hemon writes of love and war, Sarajevo and America, with a skill and imagination that are breathtaking.A love affair is experienced in the blink of an eye as the Archduke Ferdinand watches his wife succumb to an assassin s bullet An exiledIn this stylistically adventurous, brilliantly funny tour de force the most highly acclaimed debut since Nathan Englander s Aleksander Hemon writes of love and war, Sarajevo and America, with a skill and imagination that are breathtaking.A love affair is experienced in the blink of an eye as the Archduke Ferdinand watches his wife succumb to an assassin s bullet An exiled writer, working in a sandwich shop in Chicago, adjusts to the absurdities of his life Love letters from war torn Sarajevo navigate the art of getting from point A to point B without being shot With a surefooted sense of detail and life saving humor, Aleksandar Hemon examines the overwhelming events of history and the effect they have on individual lives These heartrending stories bear the unmistakable mark of an important new international writer.

  • Title: The Question of Bruno
  • Author: Aleksandar Hemon
  • ISBN: 9780375727009
  • Page: 470
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Question of Bruno In this stylistically adventurous brilliantly funny tour de force the most highly acclaimed debut since Nathan Englander s Aleksander Hemon writes of love and war Sarajevo and America with a skill


    As a Bosnian who now lives in the States and writes in English, Aleksandar Hemon has been compared to Nabokov, Conrad, Kundera and even Hrabal While these comparisons are, certainly, flattering, it is obvious that they are made simply because these are the cultural references the reviewers or the blurbers associate with the part of the world Hemon comes from This is a rather pathetic situation that occurs over and over with writers from other parts of the world, especially when their exoticism g [...]


    I think this book is incredible incredibly bad Everybody loves this book, and this astounds me I absolutely hate it The writing is jumbled, full of nasty depictions and often indecipherable It is a mixture of history, biography and fiction But my opinion changes by the time I reach the end of the book, so please read on Here is a chapter that plays with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand The horses are trotting stolidly and the coach is bobbing steadily, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand s [...]


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    i read this the first semester of my master s program it was like a key turning in a lock it completely changed the way i approach writing the best collection of inter related short stories i ve read ever.

    Guillermo Jiménez

    Espl ndido libro Relatos y una novella Horror y humor muy oscuro, muy denso Es una traducci n al espa ol de un libro originalmente escrito en ingl s por un autor de origen bosnio Y a pesar de ello se siente lo eslavo en cada una de sus p ginas, de su lenguaje, de lo que observan sus personajes.Hemon 1964 nos da ocho lados de una figura geom trica de m s o de menos lados Es dif cil saberlo, pero da ocho relatos Siete en realidad y una tremenda novella Uno se zambulle en un lenguaje precioso en ca [...]


    I dread the fact that my life is always slower than death and I have been chosen, despite my weakness, against my will, to witness the discrepancy Marvelous prose dark stories with a comedic edge It s almost impossible to believe that he moved to Chicago with a marginal grasp of English and then, a few years later, published a work with this much style and sophistication in his newly learned language.


    Books fall open, I fall in It does not happen often, though, that I stumble across an author who whacks me off my feet, making me drown in his writing happily and voluntarily, too Aleks Hemon did it It was love on first sight Actually Aleksandar Hemon was my friend Masha s recommendation of long ago now I am furious with myself for such a long delay in this supreme read Because Hemon practises some seriously expressive writing rich narration exchanges with humorous, or dark and bitter tones Life [...]


    The writing grabbed me from page one there is a real rhythm to it, and the description is beautiful The first story in the collection is the sort of lazy childhood summer holiday tale that you expect to be idyllic, until the writer throws in really gruesome details, like a dog killing a mongoose, dead fish caught in hooks, a tourist vomiting in the sea, a dead bee swirling in the boy s coffee, etc etc Then old Uncle Julius, who smells of pine cologne with a whiff of rot and decay, starts telling [...]

    Ben Jaques-Leslie

    I ve been working my way through Hemon for the past year and a half and this very well be my favorite book of his Beginning to end, it isn t as complete and satisfying as The Lazarus Project, but some stories are beautifully written and compelling than even the wonderful novel A Coin has to be one of my favorite short stories that I ve ever read In addition, as a collection of short stories, it is much better than Love and Obstacles, which is also great The Question of Bruno is excellent.


    When I first encountered the name Aleksandar Hemon, I assumed he was related in some way to Louis Hemon, who wrote a seminal novel about Quebec in which the protagonist is defeated by the Canadian winter This misapprehension fits well into Exchange of Pleasant Words , a mock epic tale about a Bosnian family that manages to trace its heritage back to Homer I thrilled to Hemon s postmodern interweaving of fact and fiction in the short stories The Life and Work of Alphonse Kauders , The Sorge Spy R [...]


    The Bosnian Faulkner or maybe it s the other way around This is why immigration will save us from the fate of the Whiffenpoof Bird bird that, according to my father, flies in ever dimimishing circles until it disappears up its own asshole.

    Chris Blocker

    The one thing I have most appreciated about Hemon s writing is his uncanny ability to somehow twist English words and phrases into a way which shows he doesn t quite grasp English the way a native speak would, yet has a mastery of the language that far exceeds my own For those who are not familiar with Hemon s story, let me quickly say that Hemon had only a basic understanding of English when war stranded him in the United States at the age of 27 Within eight years, Hemon had written his first b [...]


    After the lunch, everyone became drowsy, descending from the mountains of meat to the lowlands of sleep Snippets of conversation died off within instants, for no one s blood was capable of reaching the brain Finally, everything yielded to the stupor, and excited flies could land, after a long journey, on the continent abundant with meat and salad They would comfortably sit on a slice of bread, greasing themselves to dazzling summer fly glitter Abruptly they would ascend, as if to check whether t [...]

    Erma Odrach

    Aleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian born in 1964 who in 1992 came to live in Chicago With a base understanding of English, by the year 2000 he went on to write The Question of Bruno in English His style is engaging and quite polished, and when reading, one can t help think that somehow his editor played a than vital role in this case, his wife, Lisa Stodder I liked most of the stories equally, but my favorite was The Coin , where events in Sarajevo are vivdly and horrifically depicted From a politica [...]


    p 26 I hate people, almost as much as horses, because there are always too many of them around, and because they kill bees, and because they fart and stink, and because they always come up with something, and it is the worst when they come up with irksome revolutions p.89 The horses are trotting stolidly, and the coach is bobbing steadily, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand s eyelids are listlessly sliding down his corneas The weighty eyelids are about to reach the bottom, but then the horse on the le [...]


    Aleksander Hemon is a Sarajevan who came to Chicago as a tourist speaking little English in 1992 when the siege of Sarajevo began, and so he didn t go back And then, less than ten years after he arrived, he published this book of short stories in beautiful English than I could ever hope to write There s a passage in A Coin describing how best to get from point A to point B when you know you re in view of a sniper that made me feel sick for a week which is a good thing.

    Baris Balcioglu

    Was recommended by Nur ah I guess Don t remember anything

    Nastya Khyzhniak

    The Question of Bruno was interesting to me from the historical point of view, it pushed me to research carefully the occupation of Sarajevo and the life of Sorge In a way, it really made anxious, because somewhere in it my life is also mentioned Most of the stories are about wars, the reasons for war, lives during a war, beginning and ending, except the first and the last However, even there war is omnipresent in small details Sadly, without sometimes even realizing it, we live in times of war [...]

    José Vivas M.

    Distintas aproximaciones, en muchos registros, formas narrativas y niveles de experimentaci n, en torno a emigrar de Sarajevo a los EE UU huyendo de la guerra bordeando lo absurdo y lo entra able , los recuerdos de la infancia bajo Tito, regresar a visitar una ciudad sitiada brutal, esta historia , los ignotos y tal vez fabulados or genes de los Hemon como centro de un multitudinario encuentro familiar genial Las historias conjugan humor, horror, reportaje, un poco bastante de autobiograf a, y s [...]


    Within The Question of Bruno, Aleksander Hemon s Blind Jozef Pronek Dead Souls is a narrative of discord While the physical conflict of war swells in the background, Hemon relentlessly pairs clashing ideas and words, forging oxymorons Indeed, the Bosnian title character ultimately comes to understand himself as an oxymoron an alien resident of United States Pronek s experience of America is similarly paradoxical Hemon writes the country as fundamentally superficial, as a place empty of meaning Y [...]


    After reading the much recent story collection, Love Obstacles, I went back to Hemon s first book, from 2000 Disappointing Formal experiment and fresh, politically significant subject matter, along with many finely crafted sentences and surprising images, couldn t for me, overcome the lack of story arc and general flabbiness from which many of the pieces suffer The novella, Blind Jozef Pronek Dead Souls strangely not identified as a novella on the cover copy of the edition I read was a case in [...]


    Again, another talented writer who can cash in for life on the strength of his background presenting Aleksandar Hemon, Bosnian Ukranian but descended from the semi mythical Alexandre Hemon Breton is a popular surname in Brittany, as you will learn I like Hemon s writing The stories I ve read in The New Yorker some of which are included in this collection, in longer form I prefer to this collection overall, which has its strengths and weaknessesch of Hemon s work is semi or mostly autobiographica [...]

    John Wyszniewski

    I was surprised by the experimental leanings of Bosnian born and raised author Aleksandar Hemon, especially when you consider that he immigrated to the United States as an adult, speaking very little English Written in a, at times, broken English, The Question of Bruno is Hemon s debut collection of short stories Having only recently read a heart breaking piece of non fiction in The New Yorker, I had no idea what to expect from his fiction Since Hemon came to English so late in life, I question [...]


    I really like Aleksandar Hemon but I wish he would focus some ways, I think his style lends itself better to short stories, though Still, these are all over the place The bulk of the collection is all about Sorge the Spy Ring, which could have been much interesting had it not dragged with it s incredibly long footnotes There s alot about Sorge and the protagonist s fatheruld he be a spy Is it possible Complete with old pictures, it comes off half historical and half sheer rumination I found The [...]


    An excellent story collection, imaginative, real, funny and heartbreaking, sometimes separately and sometimes all at the same time Islands is like a flash collection a sensitive boy absorbs the funny and the horrible, watching and listening to his family The Life and work of Alphonse Kauders deals with the grotesque aspect of power.The Sorge Spy Ring is a two line story related to spies, the historical and the personal, the factual and the imagined The touching points exist on every page and yet [...]


    The Question of Bruno is a brilliant but almost impossible book which had me asking questions throughout my reading of it It s both memoir and fiction and the language is, as everyone has already detailed, unexpectedly gorgeous Certain words, images and themes are recurrent in this collection, such as the word sundry , horrid descriptions of carnage, and the idea of being part of a tribe Many of the stories seemed to have deliberately jumbled narratives that often paralleled the confusing chrono [...]

    B. Mason

    Aleksander Hemon s name has popped up a few times in the last couple weeks and given my foray into short story collections recently I figured I d give him a try The Question of Bruno is a beautiful and moving collection of stories dealing with childhood, the immigration experience and the struggle of being in another country while your home is ripped apart by war A Coin a correspondence between Aida, a woman stuck in Sarajevo, and a man living in Chicago and that gutted me it s brutal Aida descr [...]


    An interesting mix of literary styles and narration tricks Hemon playfully toys around with his own history as a Bosnian immigrant in Chicago as well as the history of Eastern Europe The book feels half like a fantasy, half like real history It s weird for a Chicagoan like myself to read Hemon s stories and find so many references to specific places that I know in the city Overall, the collection benefits greatly from the inclusion of one novella, Blind Jozef Pronek Dead Souls, which feels like [...]


    Beautifully written sharply observed, harrowing descriptions of unbearable inhumanity, sharp and hilariously funny savaging of consumer culture seen through immigrant s eyes but two things got in my way as I read The Question of Bruno the literary formalism, especially in the parallel tracks narrative footnotes of The Sorge Spy Ring and the too permeable for me borders between history, autobiography, and fiction I admired The Lazarus Project very much and also Hemon s beautiful and harrowing wri [...]


    A lovely collection, especially for a debut I understand that Hemon s writing gets better and better as each new book comes out, which I find exciting since this is such a strong start The prose here is a bit rough in patches, but he s able to produce such varied and original narrative voices in each story that it s hard not to be awed Beyond Hemon s personal history which most critics seem to latch onto is his crazy ability to follow through with such brave expirimental choices in construction [...]

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      Posted by:Aleksandar Hemon
      Published :2019-07-04T21:21:44+00:00