Thursday, February 7, 2008

Broken April by Ismail Kadare

Broken April is a story about a 26 year old Albanian man who is bound by the Kanun to take revenge from his brother’s murderer. From the moment that Gjorg's brother is killed by a neighbour, his own life is forfeit: for the Kanun, the code of the blood feud that operates in the Albanian mountains, requires Gjorg to kill his brother's murderer and then in turn to become an outcast to be hunted down by the new victim's family. After lying in ambush and shooting his brother's killer, young Gjorg is entitled to thirty days' grace-not enough to see out the month of April. While the rites of death, bereavement, mourning and vengeance are fulfilled with traditional solemnity in the village, a visiting honeymoon couple, travelling to learn about the ways of the mountain folk, cross the path of the fugitive. The bride's heart goes out to Gjorg, and even these 'civilised' strangers from the city risk becoming embroiled in the fatal mechanism of vendetta.

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