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Čitavog dana bih se vozikao u svom strava plavom vozu
I Could Ride All Day in My Cool Blue Train is a punchy and vividly imagined collection of discrete short stories which loop through common themes of anxiety and dislocation, mental instability and the slippery aspects of reality. Seven of the tales are dreams, numbered as though from a journal; they swell from a lush male fantasy of courting success to an impassioned lament for the beautiful dream world that has been suppressed by behaviour-controlling medication. This angry ex-dreamer rails against the “underlying powerlessness with respect to my life”, which reverberates between many of Hobbs’s other narrators.
Hobbs’s powers of description are striking, and he marvellously captures the flavour of dream experience. By exploring concerted attacks on mental equilibrium in an inventive range of surreal, sinister or distressing environments, Hobbs sustains the underlying impulse shared by his characters, many of them physically or mentally isolated and often medicated, to escape their uneasy or nightmarish environments.
Sources: Independent, The Guardian
Photo credit: Alison Harris
Peter Hobbs was born in 1973, and lives in London. He is the author of two novels, The Short Day Dying and In The Orchard, The Swallows, and co-editor of an anthology of short stories, Sex and Death. His work has won a Betty Trask Award, and been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the John Lewellyn Rhys Prize and the Whitbread First Novel Award.
Nataša Srdić (née Miljković) was born in Smederevo in 1984. She graduated from the Department of English Language and Literature of the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, where she also defended her doctoral thesis Scientific and Artistic Truth in John Banville’s Fiction. She works as a literary translator from English into Serbian and vice versa.