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In a town at the foot of the northern Highlands, life goes on as always, but people are in a state of shock: A bank has been robbed, a sure sign of the Westernization of this backward Balkan land. Meanwhile, other strange events - such as the marriage of a girl and a snake - confirm that ancient legends still prevail. People are flocking from far and wide to search for a tunnel to the Secret State Archives, said to house records of crimes they may have committed. Some even claim the ghosts of former dictators Hoxha, Brezhnev, and Ulbricht - not to mention Oedipus - have been seen there.... Against this backdrop, a simple and sensual love story between a painter and a girl stands out as light against dark.
©2000, 2011 Librairie Artheme Fayard. English translation copyright 2002, 2011 by David Bellos (P)2014 Audible, Inc.