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Srđan Srdić's collection of short stories, Combustions, establishes this author's position as one of the best prose writers in Serbia and across the region. This book consists of nine stories in which the author brings the reader face to face with the seamy side of everyday life, where, somewhere in the province, hopelessness and despair of the endless Balkan transition meet one another in the most radical way. Devoid of illusions of social engagement and narrative tricks, Srdić linguistically demolishes the present and its numerous platitudes, either liberal or conservative, with which we have been overwhelmed for years, to the extent that we can no longer discern the depth of the twilight zone in which we live. Srdić's stories are linguistically flawless, authentic and emblematically recognizable. The ironic distance that Srdić uses to talk about his characters, which are often socially marginalized and in disproportion to self-perception, combined with exquisite attention to detail, associativity and a number of intertextual references, makes this collection of short stories a genuine masterpiece, which uncompromisingly brings into light the bizarre quality of contemporary life.

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