The Greatest Croatian Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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  1. 1. The Return of Philip Latinowicz by Miroslav Krleža

    "The Return of Philip Latinowicz" is a novel about a successful artist who, after living in the city for three decades, decides to return to his rural hometown in order to find inspiration for his next piece of work. As he reconnects with his past and the people from his childhood, he begins to question the meaning of his art and his own identity. The book explores themes of existentialism, the nature of art, and the struggle between modernity and tradition.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. On the Edge of Reason by Miroslav Krleža

    "On the Edge of Reason" is a satirical novel that explores the life of a lawyer who, after publicly criticizing a corrupt official, finds himself ostracized from society. The protagonist's life unravels as he is alienated by his friends, colleagues, and the society he once held in high regard. This leads him to question the rationality of the world around him and the meaning of justice, ultimately driving him to the brink of sanity. The book provides a scathing critique of hypocrisy, corruption, and the herd mentality prevalent in society.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Luka by Antun Šoljan

    "Luka" is a story about a young boy named Luka who, after being abandoned by his family, embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Throughout his journey, he encounters various characters and situations that challenge his perceptions and understanding of the world. The book is a poignant exploration of the themes of abandonment, survival, and the human capacity to adapt and grow, even in the face of adversity.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Museum of Unconditional Surrender by Dubravka Ugrešić

    "The Museum of Unconditional Surrender" is a poignant and surreal narrative that explores the dislocation and fragmentation experienced by an unnamed narrator who has been exiled from her homeland, former Yugoslavia. The novel is presented as a collection of fragments, including letters, diary entries, and observations, which together portray a deep longing for a lost homeland and an exploration of memory, identity, and the power of art. The story is centered around a photograph of a walrus in a Berlin zoo, which serves as a metaphor for the narrator's own feelings of displacement and alienation.

    The 4584th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. As If I Am Not There by Slavenka Drakulic

    The book is a harrowing tale of a young woman's survival in a Balkan concentration camp during the Bosnian War. The protagonist, a school teacher, is taken from her village and forced into sexual slavery by the enemy soldiers. It's a stark exploration of the brutalities of war, the dehumanization of individuals, and the resilience of the human spirit. The narrative is a poignant commentary on the horrors of war and the resilience of women in the face of unimaginable atrocities.

    The 4858th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. How We Survived Communism & Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulic

    This book is a poignant and insightful collection of essays that delve into the everyday lives of women under communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Through personal narratives and observations, the author explores the harsh realities and small acts of resistance that characterized life behind the Iron Curtain. From the scarcity of basic necessities to the suppression of individual freedoms, the book reveals the resilience and ingenuity of women who navigated a world of political oppression, economic hardship, and social conformity, often finding ways to inject humor and hope into their struggle for survival and dignity.

    The 5203rd Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Croatian Tales of Long Ago by Ivana Brlic-Mazuranic

    "Croatian Tales of Long Ago" is a collection of children's stories rooted in the mythology and folklore of Croatia. Written in the early 20th century, the book blends magical narratives with the rich cultural heritage of the region. The stories feature a cast of fantastical creatures and heroes, exploring themes of bravery, wisdom, and the struggle between good and evil. Through vivid storytelling and imaginative plots, the tales aim to impart moral lessons and celebrate the timeless traditions and landscapes of Croatia.

    The 5511th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Thank You For Not Reading by Dubravka Ugrešić

    "Thank You For Not Reading" by Dubravka Ugrešić is a collection of essays that explores the decline of reading culture in contemporary society. Ugrešić delves into various aspects of this phenomenon, including the impact of technology, the rise of celebrity culture, and the commodification of literature. With her sharp and witty observations, she raises important questions about the future of reading and the value of literature in an increasingly digital and image-driven world.

    The 6125th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. April Fool's Day by Josip Novakovich

    This book is a poignant narrative that follows the life of Ivan Dolinar, born in Croatia on April 1, 1948, a date that marks both his birth and the myriad of misfortunes and absurdities that will follow him throughout his life under Tito's communist regime. The story weaves through Ivan's experiences, from his early years in a country marred by political upheaval, through his time in prison due to a series of misunderstandings and unfortunate events, to his eventual emigration. Through a blend of dark humor and tragedy, the novel explores themes of identity, the absurdity of bureaucratic systems, and the struggle for survival in a world that often seems as unpredictable and cruel as it is beautiful. The narrative serves as a powerful commentary on the human condition and the arbitrary nature of fate, all while providing a vivid window into the history and culture of the Balkans during a tumultuous period.

    The 6408th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Ministry Of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić

    "The Ministry of Pain" is a powerful and introspective novel that follows the life of Tanja Lucić, a Croatian immigrant and former professor of literature, as she navigates the challenges of living in exile in Amsterdam. Through Tanja's perspective, the book explores themes of loss, displacement, and the struggle to preserve one's identity in a foreign land. With a blend of dark humor and poignant observations, the author delves into the complexities of memory, trauma, and the enduring pain of war, offering a profound exploration of the human condition.

    The 6434th Greatest Book of All Time

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