3 of 1001 Books: Vassilis Vassilikos’ Z

Vassilis Vassilikos takes a chance with this fictionalized political thriller to share the assassination of a controversial figure in Greece, under the name Z., which isn’t the real guys name he based this on. To write this novel Vassilikos had to conceal a lot of people’s name to protect himself, and the story he was sharing. I think in a time where society has become fascinated by governments like in The Hunger Games, and 1984 that this novel presents an idea of people revolting against their government, and losing their leader in this revolt. The letter Z symbolizes that though they lost their leader to this movement against the right-wing movement in Greece at the time they did not lost their leaders ideas they carried on.

In Z, we explore how the police and members of a left-wing party have said to have been working together to take down a right-wing strong voice, Z. Their are some characters that are very strong in expressing their emotions after his passing such as his wife, who mourns her husband despite his imperfections. There are also other characters that fear for the investigation taking place to discover if the incident that killed Z was really an accident or not.  Each part explores the lead up, and inevitable tension of the investigation involving a lot of parties.

Personally, I’m not huge on political thrillers, but the fact this one was so controversial for Vassilikos to write when he did it does make it interesting. Though it is fictionalized it is rooted in some things that occurred at that time. The more I read the more interested I became in the characters, and the story forming based off the character Z.

I think the fact there were so many characters made it difficult to follow some times. At times I had no idea whose part I was reading. There were also certain characters I became invested in that I would have loved to read more from like Z’s wife. I also thought Yango, and Vango were interesting, yet keeping their names straight was confusing. I kept thinking about this actually happening, which kept me intrigued though.

At the end the book begins to loose the capture it peaks at in the middle. I like how it does build up to that point in the middle where you just want to continue reading though. After a slow start, and a slow ending it does capture you where it needs to to keep the reader interested. In all honesty, this book is a beginning of a history lessen I want to further read about because to be honest I don’t know a lot about the Greek situation featured in this novel. It is the start of learning a lot more about that culture, and it’s history.

Rating 3 of 5.

“Nevertheless, the first principle of justice is the just distribution of responsibilities.”
– Vassilis Vassilikos

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