A sharp, witty, and often moving account of an ancient nation on life support.
Panos’ life is as precarious as the continued survival of his country….
…. author Nejad paints a discomfiting picture of a nation in crisis, not only wrestling with financial catastrophe, but with the sustainment of its collective soul. Greece is not merely broke, but broken, and the historical womb of democracy has degenerated into bureaucratic chaos, opportunism, and despair.
Mercifully, the author leavens the mood with antic comedy…despite the cloud of cynicism that hangs over a beleaguered Greece, (the hero) refuses to surrender to it fully. “The most important thing is that this is not the end. I am a man, I am Greek, and this is a country with a big history. We will show them.” … The affecting portrayal of a country and culture on the brink and the punchy humour… make the long road one worth travelling.
[The novel]…offers a compelling, often very funny insight into contemporary Greek culture.
An entertaining and awakening holiday read about Greece and her people and a realistic fiction based on true stories in today’s Greece
Tamara Abahari Amazon reader
...truly impressed by the story. It is a good analysis and critique of the social fabric of the contemporary Greek society. The novel is a profound and philosophical approach to the fundamental question of “virtue” — although not mentioned explicitly. It is also. It is also a philosophical thesis dealing with the inadequacies of the inherited philosophical (and religious) remedies for today’s societal and economic ills. The dialogues are a reminiscence of Socrates dialogue about virtue. (Is avoidance of excesses always a right remedy for Greece or whether it needs an extreme prescription i.e. a revolution?) It is also a political thesis in the sense that it tries to redefine the role of individual, family, and clan in both creating and at the same time solving the problems of the’polise’ — town/country/habitat. I wish to congratulate the author and ask him to keep writing.
Nikos Varalis (Journalist)
The crisis in Greece is a European crisis with Greek characteristics. In this inspired book you can find the reasons of the occidental world and especially Greece. Faris Nejad has created persons very characteristic in Greek society with egoism and narcissism. They can’t cooperate, they can’t love so they destroy themselves and the society they live in. But it is not an essay just about the Greek crisis it has many funny moments, with tragedies in real life and this is important, all the facts in the book are real facts of life in Greece. I read it in three days and I recommend it to everyone who really wonders about the crisis in Europe and especially in Greece.
Good Reads reader Friedrun Sternath
I dedicate this work to Greek youth who all deserve much more than what we have left for them.” With these words Faris Nejad invites us to enter the story of Panos, a Greek reporter, living and working in Athens amidst his personal life crisis, which is deeply connected to the Greek tragedy of nowadays. “THE CURSE OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS” is one of the books I hardly could lay aside. I was dwelling in the story of Panos for five days. I suffered, loved, cried and raged with him and if I were not already fallen desperately in love with the Greeks and their country, I would have been after finishing the book. Faris Nejad is not only a good observer and a witty storyteller, as a sociologist and political scientist he also knows to point out with caution the many layers of reality within the Greek crisis and within that especially the human side of everything.
I definitely will read this book twice.
Amazon reader Billy Bcom
Nejad presents — with much levity — the pain of the Greek financial crisis as experienced by everyday Greeks. As the main character’s personal life falls apart, the novel strings together a number of stranger-than-fiction encounters with Greek bureaucracy, obstructionism and protest.
Refreshingly, especially when it comes to writing on the Greek crisis, Nejad does not get polemical; instead his book lays bare the contradictions of ideological views typically held in Greece on who is to blame. To this end, sharp-witted and fast-paced dialogue is his favourite tool. The result is a great deal of stinging insight without the didactic. The book is critical yet empathetic, cynical yet ultimately hopeful. Some of the symbolism and literary moves (like the Socratic dialogue) are a bit hit-you-over-the-head obvious. It could also do with closer editing and pruning, but in the end, I’m glad I stumbled on it while holidaying out of Volos. It certainly deserves far more attention than is typically afforded to self-published works.
Mark Amazon reader
Nejad with thoughtful insights, great use of humour and through good story telling provides a much needed on the ground viewpoint as to the causes and the repercussions of Greece’s economic crisis. The answer is there are no easy one dimensional answers and similarly no one dimensional solutions. All the learned comments regarding what caused the crisis in Greece and how to solve the problem from the vast spectrum of experts could have been better informed had they had the opportunity to have read Nejad’s book on what is actually happening on the ground in everyday Greece. Panos’s future, as well as that of Greece, is still not fully resolved at the book’s end but clearly the spirit of Panos and that of Greece provides for great hope.
Susan Goodreads reader
This was a great book to read as we travelled through Greece. The issues and concerns of the Greek people were insightful despite the story’s relatively weak plot, I enjoyed it.
Official review. On Line Book Club.
The book is an insightful look into the Greek crisis and how it has impacted the day to day lives of the Greek people. The novel is ambitious and comprehensive in scope, but rarely does it feel forced. It tackles some serious subjects, and it would be easy for this to become an incredibly morose book, however, although the darkness is present, there’s also a fair amount of levity. In fact, it often feels like a tragicomedy with absurdity of life adding much needed humor to the story without trivializing the experiences of the Greek people.
In the end, this is more than just the story of Panos; it’s the story of a nation. It’s a tale full of cynicism, but it’s also not without some hope. I’m giving this book 4 out of 4 stars, and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the Greek crisis. If you can appreciate books about people’s daily struggles and welcome a little philosophy, give The Curse of the Ancient Greeks a chance.
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