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I hate my brother
This book maybe answers the question of whether we can become a monster, or the monster already lies deep within us, waiting for the opportunity to come to the surface. The action of this novel takes place in the region of ex-Yugoslavia as well as in prison and the court of The Hague Tribunal for war crimes. The main character is Gvozden Mishic. He is courageous, honest, hard-working, and above all, a highly honorable man. What happens when such a man of incredible persistence and will-power has his heart broken and filled with hatred? Genocide. This book represents a transformation, or rather a deformation of an impressive and above all, unique personality with countless qualities, among which the greatest is – an immense love for his family. This quality is precisely his greatest fault. Love that he felt for his wife and daughter becomes an inexhaustible source of hatred that makes him commit deeds that give a new dimension and severity to the term “war crime.” The severity that the readers will undoubtedly feel in their hearts while reading this book. This book is nothing more than a profoundly emotional testimony of a tragedy of one people, carried on wings of hatred, hatred of those who once lived for LOVE, who once fought for LOVE.
Reviews
Bojčić’s dramatic war novel is rooted in the gut-wrenching events of the Bosnian War. Serb Gvozden Mišić lives in Yugoslavia with his wife, Yadranka, and daughter, Anna. He naively believes Yugoslavia will continue to prosper as a unified country after President Josip Broz Tito’s death. Soon, war breaks out, and Gvozden serves in the military with a mission to secure villages against traitors. Before Gvozden leaves to fulfill his commitment to his country, he asks his Muslim neighbor Senad to look after his family. The Serbs in charge seek to kill Muslims and Croats in order to create a pure Serbian Yugoslavia, but Gvozden simply wants to return home and protect his wife and daughter.

Gvozden’s intense experiences as a soldier transform him from a level-headed farmer and devoted family man to a primal brute. The story depicts shocking acts, including the rape of Muslim women by rogue soldiers in Gvozden’s unit. The graphic violence captures the horrifying nature of war, and beneath the bloodshed lie philosophical questions: Are monsters born or created? If God exists, why does He allow evil? Bojčić doesn’t try to provide answers, instead leaving readers to grapple with the repercussions of violence on those who commit it as well as those it victimizes.

Bojčić’s experience as a Yugoslavian and a political refugee in the United States lends authority to the setting and subject. The characters and themes transcend the occasional translation and editing errors to create an intense, fast-paced journey guaranteed to haunt readers. This arresting drama draws back the curtain of war and focuses on the metamorphosis of men under the extreme stress of combat. Bojčić’s emotional and gripping portrayal of war will stick with history enthusiasts long after the final sentence.

Takeaway: Fans of war, military, and historical fiction will be enthralled by Bojčić’s heart-twisting depiction of the Bosnian War.

Great for fans of Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong, Zlatko Dizdarević’s Sarajevo: A War Journal, Loung Ung’s First They Killed My Father.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: -
Editing: C
Marketing copy: A-

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