Book review: “Mission London” by Alek Popov

I have just finished the book “Mission London” by the Bulgarian writer Alek Popov.Mission London I was expecting the book to be fun and was not disappointed at first. But when the stereotypical characters (that seems almost obligatory when it comes to describing Eastern Europeans) starts arriving one after one; power crazy diplomat/boss/politician, girl who work as a strip tease, hardened ruthless criminal, a dead female body, I become somewhat down stricken. However, I keep reading and the plot (and the characters to some degree) starts to unfold in ways I’m not expecting. It turns out that it’s not so totally stereotypical after all. Now I think that the book has more depth than I thought at its lowest points. It was fun, interesting and I could easily read an other book like this, and I definitely want to check out the film adaptation.

Below follows an excerpt about the writer, the book and film from the web page: contemporarybulgarianwriters.com

Alek Popov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1966.  He graduated from St. Constantine Cyril the Philosopher College for Ancient Languages and Cultures in Sofia and later received his master’s degree in Bulgarian language and literature from the Sofia University. In 1997, he attended the English Language Institute at Wayne State University.

His first novel, Mission London, based on colorful impressions from his time as the cultural attaché at the Bulgarian Embassy in the United Kingdom, was published in 2001. It has been widely acclaimed as “the funniest contemporary Bulgarian book” for its sarcastic projection of the Bulgarian diplomatic elite. So far, it has been translated and published into 15 languages. An English edition of Mission London is forthcoming in the U.K., published by Istros Books (April, 2014).

The film Mission London based on the novel was released in 2010 and according to distributors was “a breakthrough phenomenon,” leading the Bulgarian box office for weeks. It became the most frequented Bulgarian movie for the last 20 years. In 2011, it won the Unbribable Award of Transparency International Croatia’s program “Culture against Corruption”.

Read more about at Alek Popov´s own web page: alekpopov.net

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. theryanlanz
    May 31, 2015 @ 03:56:35

    I should check this book out sometime.

    Reply

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A little about me and the blog…


I'm studying archival science (include records management). My studies bring me to Bulgaria for six months.

I have been to Bulgaria on vacation but I don't know the language, Cyrillic alphabet or anybody. So I´ll be encountering many new situations and hopefully gain some insights from them. Some of it may end up on my blog. But even blogging is new to me sooo we´ll see...

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