“Toreadors” by Gela Chkvanava



The cover of this novella suggests a science fiction story like I, Robot or Dr Who and the Cybermen, but it is difficult to see how it relates to the story at all. The story is mostly about two soldiers in the war, Dato and Koba. The first chapter is about the manoeuvres of their company, which advances too far into enemy territory. When their commander, the Major is killed Koba remarks “We are now like so many Pitkins aren’t we?” (a reference to Norman Wisdom’s bumbling character). The rest of the novella is focused on the two soldiers trying to find a way out of the war or to another company on their side. The story is about the war in Abkhazia (1991) but it is not explicitly stated, a village is just known as Ravine Village and there is little action, just Koba and Dato wandering about keeping their heads low and chatting to each other. The dialogue is dull, sometimes misogynistic and the narrative often just seems a poor translation with little literary merit. I’m not sure why it is called “Toreadors”, there is no bull fighting, there is some engagement with the enemy, machine gun fire is exchanged and grenades are thrown. I only picked the book up because it is one of the few books by a Georgian author translated into English, I won’t be seeking out further books by this writer.


About jimholroyd365

Hi, my name is Jim, I am an Englishman living in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. I started this blog to share my interests, my photos and to make sense of my world. I take a lot of photographs of various subjects, some of which I intend to share here. I collect diecast cars and get the same thrill at 50 as I did when I was 8, when I find a car I'm searching for, Don't worry, I have a separate blog for this hobby. Please feel free to comment and ask questions on what I blog. I am quite new to this blogging, I was inspired by reading a book, which began as a blog of a London Ambulance Driver: "Blood, Sweat and Tea". I hope my blog will be entertaining and amusing, I did try stand up comedy in the UK and had seven gigs before I left to teach English in Georgia. I love reading and so the blog will include book reviews of books as I finish them.I don't know about which direction this blog will go, I am a great believer in serendipity...let the journey begin...
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