One of the biggest regrets that I have had in my 37 short years on earth is that I have never been in a financial situation to travel abroad, and having spent my life mainly in the Midwest (Indiana to be exact with the exception of a 6 month stint in Texas) there is so much of humanity that I have yet to be exposed to.
Thankfully, we have Facebook these days that can connect you, at least virtually, to all walks of humanity and some of my best online friends are from different countries. That however still only leads to a passing knowledge of what life is like in another country. Recently, however, I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of a new book called Sorry, Wrong Country by Greek author Konstantine Paradias.
The book is a work of what I will call Non-Fiction Fiction. What the hell does that mean, you ask? Well, it is plainly obvious, straight from the opening dedication, that short stories that populate the book are at least partially based on the peoples of Greece that Paradias’ has spent his life among. The lost, the interesting, the uninteresting, the sad, the crazy, the kooky and the downright mentally insane. But most of all it is a painting of the humanity that flows through a country that, in Paradias’ own words is “slowly but surely slipping off the edge of the First World. A country haunted by the American dream but caught in the net of Eastern values.”
The stories in Sorry, Wrong Country vary in size, but all are a very smooth read. It was an absolute blast getting to know these strangers in their quick vignettes, and with what little time the reader gets to spend with each of them, Paradias deftly paints and precise picture of who these people are and where they place in the tapestry of human existence. The stories range from joyous to heart wrenching and every emotion in between and whoever the reader is, no matter who you are, you are likely to find at least one story that you can take a look and find at least a small piece of yourself in.
My one complaint, however, is that there are several stories in the book that seem far too similar to each other that at one time I had to go back and make sure it wasn’t an accidental copying of a previous story, though that, I consider a very minor gripe.
Sorry, Wrong Country is a great read for people interested in people and with the size of the stories they can be taken in bite size chunks if you only have a few minutes to kill with a good book.
Sorry, Wrong Country is published by Rooster Republic Press. Click the link to pick up the book or check out their other publications.