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„Resilience” blogtour, by Corylus Books, UK

Corylus Books este o editură nouă din Marea Britanie, care își propune să publice cărți noi și interesante traduse în engleză.

Corylus Books

În perioada 22 august – 23 septembrie, a organizat un „blogtour” pentru varianta în limba engleză a romanului polițist ”Resilience”, de Bogdan Hrib. Cartea s-a bucurat de prezentare și recenzii de la câțiva bloggeri englezi.

Cartea e disponibila pe amazon:

blogtour resilience


While searching for inspiration for my Balkan hero, I spent my evenings at a seafood tavern. After a copious meal of calamari and seasoned octopus, accompanied by taramasalata and tsatsiki, I would stay up late at night over a glass of Metaxa with the owner Stelios. He was a charismatic guy, full of contradictions, a capitalist with leftist tendencies, and I couldn’t resist borrowing his name for my main character. As for the surname, that was the easy part. I was born in Bucharest which lies in a flat plain so I always dreamt of the mountains. And thus, the character Stelian Munteanu was born. ‘The Greek Connection’ was published in 2008 in Romania and in 2015 in Canada.

Bogdan Hrib presenting Resilience on Shots Crime & thriller enzine


Brilliantly translated by Marina Sofia, this is a thriller which had me completely engaged and that kept the mystery building right to the end. There are moments of intensity, where the tension is high and the sense of threat and conspiracy is building, quieter moments of reflection which convey the uncertainty and the changing emotions of the characters involved in this tale, even some moments of flirtation and humor, all of which blend to make this a very entertaining read ending in quite a dramatic and unexpected showdown. From the final pages of the novel I can sense there is more to come and I am very intrigued to see where it will lead us to next.

review on jenmedsbookreviews

Commentary on the appalling power of social media, influencers and fake news is still extremely relevant and a stark reminder of the gullibility of people if they never venture outside their echo chambers or question what they are fed by the internet. Hrib also subtly infuses his story with historical detail, but he does it with a light touch and with a soft voice. In the process the reader’s interest is piqued about, for example, the 1989 revolution. Instead of inundating readers with facts, he plants the seed. Resilience finely balances plot, characters and geopolitics to create a gripping, fresh crime thriller with a charming main character we’d love to see more of. Marina Sofia’s seamless translation no doubt plays a crucial part in the end-result – a highly entertaining, accessible and engaging read.

review on westwordsreviews

Resilience by Bogdan Hrib has the big luck of being translated by the very talented Marina Sofia. Being native in a language does not guarantee a successful career as a translator, particularly of literature. Being an educated intelligent native in a language does it, and the translation she made out of Resilience is brilliant enough to demonstrate. Actually, you don´t feel any moment that the book was in fact a translation and for me, a hobby translator myself, is the highest proof of a successful linguistic transfer. (…) Personally, I will heartly recommend this book to anyone looking for some good political thrillers from the Eastern borders of Europe. Crime and corruption may be high there, but so is the level of talent and, as anywhere in the world, it´s good to have a look at all sides of the coin.

review on wildwritinglife

The story gradually evolves from a crime fiction novel to a geographical thriller which has so much relevance to the current age. The European Union has been impacted by the ill conceived departure of the United Kingdom and there are now different competing visions for its future. (…) While most British crime fiction readers are unlikely to be acquainted with the politics of Eastern Europe, Resilience successfully taps into the political uncertainty and dubious narratives of the modern age. (…) The most challenging aspect of the story is the changing perspectives and locations. The narrator follows many characters, often changing perspectives, so you always have to be careful to figure out who the story is centered on at some point. (…) Bogdan Hrib was a revelation. I enjoyed the thriller aspects to the story and also feel there is a lot of modern day context to the stories he writes.

review on fictionfromafar

The themes of nationalism and self-determination loom large in the narrative, and how movements and individuals can be mobilized quickly to challenge the status quo. I found this whole plotline absolutely fascinating, and am keen to explore the politics of this corner of Europe through further reading. (…)I thought the characterization was superb and particularly took to the laconic and cynical Stelian Munteanu, an ex-journalist and editor turned private investigator. There’s some wonderful flashes of humor, with deadpan delivery as Munteanu embarks on a case involving the mysterious death of a young woman connected to the Romanian Cultural Institute- a case which quickly escalates across Europe, and at some personal cost to himself. I liked his police buddy Chief Inspector Tony Demetriade, who between worrying about his reputation having seduced a much younger and attractive colleague (…)As I said earlier Resilience is clever and complicated, but Hrib keeps a tight control on the pace and structure of the story so no reader is left behind. Bolstered by lively and entertaining characterization, I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of this author’s work and will definitely be seeking out more. Recommended.

review on ravencrimereads

This author shows such insight into the current state of Europe; with the all consuming effects of the UK Brexit decision, and how other countries, and various factions within those have reacted. I have to admit that I didn’t have a great deal of prior knowledge of Romania, but after reading Resilience and taking a few trips down the Google rabbit-hole, I have discovered some fascinating things. Also taking prime position is the issue of social media manipulation that is such a huge issue in our world these days, it’s terrifying stuff at times, and gives the reader much to ponder. Intelligently written with a dry humor at times, this is a story that gripped me from the off. The characters are so well created and their relationships are excellently portrayed. Whilst the story is complex, it is never complicated and is told with such ease that the reader is never left behind. I really enjoyed my first steps into Romanian fiction and look forward to reading more from the author.

review on randomthingsthroughmyletterbox

To conclude, I would recommend this novel to the fans of crime, or even spy, fiction who enjoy reading books that involve a heavy political dimension. I have to admit that the author motivated me to search and learn more about Romania’s recent history, the 1989 Revolution, the convoluted relations with its neighboring countries, and the influences from Russia and Poland. (…) Corylus Books is a publishing house that excels at delivering crime novels from all over the world that encourage the readers to think aside from being entertained. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for offering this great opportunity to participate in this blog tour.

review on tapthelinemag

Bogdan Hrib was part of a panel of Romanian writers who appeared at Newcastle Noir in 2019 and a fascinating discussion it was too, about the authors’ work, their take on the genre and the difficulties publishers had in getting Romanians interested in home-grown writers, as opposed to the US/UK imports, and also getting good English translations to share Romania’s stories with a wider world. (…) Resilience is a decent page-turner and offers plenty of interest in its choice of setting and its use of the links between geopolitics and disinformation as a major theme – there’s a lot that makes you look at the world a little differently, it definitely made me think. It might have been my first taste of Romanian Noir/Balkan Noir, but it’s unlikely to be my last.

review on crimebookgirl

To summarize, there is intrigue and contemporary relevance in the political strand for thriller fans, plus a shoal of red herrings and a satisfactory body count for crime aficionados. There is one element in the denouement that I found unfeasible. Would two seasoned operatives really lose it so badly? Despite this Resilience is a thoroughly enjoyable read provided you keep your wits about you.Even more intrigue me in the author acknowledgements and his comment that the translator had “managed to rein in the Romanian discursiveness and introduce some English rigour and precision”. I decided to ask her what he meant by that.

Marina Sofia : We Romanians love a bit of discursiveness over a good meal, or engaging in small talk before we get to the point – in real life, and often in our fiction too. I thought that the patience of the English language reader might be tested by too many earnest discussions about the quality of the coffee, for example, although I did leave some in – otherwise it wouldn’t be a Romanian novel. So, yes, the original version was considerably longer, but I left out certain elements that were not essential to the investigation (in discussion and agreement with the author, I hasten to add). However, you need not fear that you are missing out on any of the story.

review on lizzysiddal

Resilience by Bogdan Hrib is a difficult book to categorize. I jumped in when offered an advance copy for review and participation in the book tour, assuming it to be a usual crime fiction title. It’s no secret that is the focus of this book blog. But just a few chapters in, I realized that Resilience was as much a geopolitical thriller as a crime novel. (…) What’s important is whether I liked this book. Yes, I loved it. I read it in one sitting, and the story kept me turning the pages quickly, keen to learn more. It offers something a bit new—something fresh. And, I found it a cleverly plotted book. While Resilience offers something slightly different than the reader expects at the jump, we learn fairly quickly where our assumptions are incorrect and can then settle comfortably into the story Hrib chose to tell. I loved how he brings his leading characters to life and helps the reader build relationships with them.

review on crimefictioncritic

Stelian Munteanu has had enough of fixing other people’s problems: all he wants to do is make the long-distance relationship with his wife Sofia work. But when a notorious Romanian businessman asks him to investigate the death of his daughter in the north of England, he reluctantly gets involved once more. This time it turns into a tangled web of shady business dealings and international politics. Moving rapidly between London, Newcastle, Bucharest and Iasi, Resilience shows just how easy and dangerous it is to fall prey to fake news and social media manipulation.

review on thebooktrail

I really enjoyed this story of political intrigue, the obsession that we all have with social media and the ‘image’ we feed to people who are watching and the story of what actually happened to a young woman on a visit to Newcastle. It shows how well the public are manipulated by the media into believing and doing whatever it wants. An extremely astute look at the world we live in today, and hardly even a footstep away from it! (…) Anyone who is a fan of spy thriller, political thriller and general mystery stories will definitely find something in this book. As will anyone who likes looking at relationships between people. A thoroughly enjoyable read from Bogdan Hrib. My first, I hope from this author and from a Romanian author.

review on booknbanter

The story makes the most of contemporary themes of nationalism, how this manifests itself in division, and how the masses can be influenced by those who have the power (or money) to create fake news and exploit social media followers. (…) One of the advantages of reading translated fiction is that it can provide you with a feel for the author’s home country. While there was definite insights into the political landscape I didn’t really get a feel for the more physical one. Obviously an author writes the story he wants to tell and I’m not suggesting that they should include a travelogue in between the action but I would have liked to have found out more about Romania. So ‘Resilience’ – can the characters adapt in order to survive – well you’ll need to read the book to find out!

review on novelheights

If – in this year of all years – you’ve missed out on some international travel, let Resilience fill that gap in your life, hopping as it does across Europe from the beaches of South Shields, where it opens with a death, to the streets of Bucharest and Iasi in Romania and back again to London. More than travel, though, the action in this slickly plotted thriller is driven by distance, by geography and by history, plugging into the complex history of Middle Europe with its evolving borders, nationalism and polities. (…) Behind that, the book read to me as having deep roots in the history and politics of Central Europe. There are the grand plans – the dreams of unifying modern states to create something crossing the continent, echoing the empires of the past and, perhaps, bringing back greatness. There are also nightmares, fears of what dislocation and chaos might follow. (…) Overall a fun read introducing characters I’d like to meet again.

review on bluebookballoon

Resilience is set in Romania, the UK and Moldova. I suspect that it has made more of a splash in Romania, where Hrib is better known. And in Romania they know more about us than we know about them. Brexit is there understood as a force that is simply destabilising and a cause to be promoted by those who wish Britain, and democracy, down. They talk about the fake news epidemic in Poland, the UK and most recently in Romania. (…) Hrib goes out of his way to present everyone as extraordinarily ordinary. That goes for the main antagonist, whose motivations for trying to break up his own country are not too dissimilar, as the song told us, from Rasputin’s: lusting and hunger for power. When it’s all going wrong, he howls at his lover: ‘I’ve lost everything! The money, the status! Everything!’ The philosopher king he is not, and as such he is ideal for our age. His virtual henchman is more of a caricature: ‘he looked at his reflection in the giant computer screen – with his chin resting on his clenched fist he looked mysterious, cynical, strategic’. But this extends to the main protagonist, Stelian Munteanu. What I liked most about Munteanu is that he is obviously competent at his job but a real muddle at life. He gets tired and irritable and he makes mistakes. I for one have had enough of the grizzled PI who needs neither sleep nor post-being-beaten-up recovery time. This man, who forgets his painkillers, can’t get the right aubergines and whose on-page charisma is caused precisely by his lack of presence, is another man for our times.

review on cafethinking

The action moves seamlessly between the UK and Romania, Stelian Munteanu journalist and investigator has been called upon to investigate the death of a young girl in South Shields, an interesting character not a typical investigator, in fact all of the characters within the book are superbly written each brought to life on the page, it is fair to say that intrigue abounds and that not everyone is who they appear to be. There any many shady characters and that adds that element that you never now quite where you stand. As the book moves more into the political sphere here the author clearly has a depth knowledge and understanding of the region and this come across and adds a great depth to the story, the plot is ingenious and cleverly constructed in blending crime and political elements seamlessly into a slick read.You can feel a real sense of place and the landscape not only geographically but politically to give that authenticity required to make the reader immerse themselves into the story line.

review on amwbooksreviews

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