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“I loved this book. Dry, snappy, absurdist wit... self-deprecating, fast-talking hero... the colossal, surreal stupidity of totalitarianism.”
author, The Last Hundred Days - Man Booker Prize Longlist
"...ground-breaking fusion of crime writing with satire and social critique. Arion found the perfect vehicle to confront and express the dark, paranoid days of the Ceausescus’ Romania."
Professor of Postcolonial and Diaspora Literatures, Leeds
"... an enjoyably flawed hero... A great deal of fun and amusement is to be had in this sometimes surreal account of totalitarianism."
The Press, York
"Determinedly light-hearted and irreverent."
Petrona Crime Blog
"The tale swerves constantly and confidently between thriller and social satire. [...] Mladin has a sarcastic and self-critical wit that makes him irresistible."
”I found the footnotes almost as fascinating as the novels themselves and learned a lot from them, not the least being that Palinka is the local plum brandy (usually home-made and I suspect to be treated with caution), that a ‘French-key’ is the Romanian expression for a monkey wrench, that Sarmale – stuffed vine-leaves or cabbage – is the national dish, and that Ardeal is the Romanian version of the Hungarian word for Transylvania.”
ShotsMag – Getting Away With Murder
“GEORGE ARION's Attack in the Library is one of the classic narratives of Romanian popular fiction. Written during the dictatorship of the 1980s, it weaves a gripping narrative out of the bars, the housing estates and restaurants of Bucharest. Arion's characters queue for food, cope with power blackouts, sweat in the heat and struggle with the privileges and influence of the elites.“ (Mike Phillips)
“Andrei Mladin, living Romanian journalist! Still living, I should say.”
“Exactly in the chapter indicated by the voice, there were fifty 100-lei banknotes. I felt the embrace of sheer panic. Right then the telephone rang again: ‘Mladin! Have you found the money?’ All I heard after that was the sound of the phone hanging up.”
GEORGE ARION started his career as a novelist in 1983 with Attack in the Library, hailed as a benchmark in Romanian crime fiction, introducing Andrei Mladin, a detective in spite of himself. The doyen of Romanian crime fiction writers, Attack in the Library is George Arion’s first novel translated into English.
• Attack in the Library
Translated from the Romanian by Ramona Mitrica, Mike Phillips, and Mihai Risnoveanu. Paperback, Profusion (London, Nov 2011), ISBN 13: 978-0-9568676-1-2. RRP: £7.99
Profusion Crime Series
Attack in the Library by George Arion, Kill the General by Bogdan Hrib, Anatomical Clues by Oana Stoica-Mujea, Rîmaru - Butcher of Bucharest by Mike Phillips and Stejarel Olaru.
Series Editor: Mike Phillips