Title: The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse
Author: Ivan Repila
Publisher: Pushkin press
Length: 112 pages
Release date: November 10 2015
Powerful, disquieting and highly original, Repila's unique allegory explores with bravery and emotion the debth of human desperation and, ultimately, our almost unending capacity for hope.
This novel could be about a deep well, where two children find themselves, it could be about prisoners of war, sequestered in a small hut, unable to escape...or it could also be your neighbors, living a life of desperation...it also reminded me of Korea, the simple everyday fight for survival in a totalitarian state. It is about any circumstance which challenges the human will to live, to survive in the face of unimaginable challenges.
Author Yván Repila chose to tell us the story by giving voice to two children, who find themselves in a deep well. Big and Small are brothers, how they fell into the well isn't readily clear, until later. How can two individuals live in such a small space, with little hope of ever being found, without being able to climb out...with death and starvation their constant companions. The human spirit is an amazing gift, through these boys the author answers the question: why do some survive and others do not, without spoiling his tale, the answer isn't necessarily what we have grown to believe.
On a personal note, there is so much beauty, insight, and knowledge in these few pages, it made me wonder if the author had experienced a suffering which gave him such a clear view on the subject of survival.
I admire his choice of children in an otherwise adult novel. Children are pure at heart, their emotions lay at the surface, truth is readily spoken.
These brothers came to life for me, I feared for them, I even found myself with tears, which doesn't which doesn't happen often.
I would like to see other novels by Iván Repila translated.
I highly recommend this novel.
Thank you to Pushkin press and NetGalley for allowing me to read this novel in return for an honest review