Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia by Marija Bulatovic is an extraordinary tale of life lived in full, vivid, vibrant color set in the 1980s Yugoslavia captures the spirit of the Slavic soul--passion and melancholy with a twinkle in the eye. It's a mesmerizing memoir that takes readers on a wild and unforgettable tour of a country that has vanished from the mFantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia by Marija Bulatovic is an extraordinary tale of life lived in full, vivid, vibrant color set in the 1980s Yugoslavia captures the spirit of the Slavic soul--passion and melancholy with a twinkle in the eye. It's a mesmerizing memoir that takes readers on a wild and unforgettable tour of a country that has vanished from the map, but lives on in this lively collection. With a pitch perfect voice, and a keen eye for capturing the absurd, the outrageous, the hilarious, the touching, and the sublime, Bulatovic weaves a rich tapestry. Bears, gypsies, quirky family members, foiled plans, unusual and unorthodox neighbors, Fantastical has it all. Lovingly told with an unmistakable fondness and deep affection, Fantastical is resplendent with humor, magic, and whimsy. Fantastical charms with its wit, keen insights, and larger-than-life stories. Part memoir, part love letter to a place and a people that lives on in memory, Fantastical is irresistible. An exquisite assortment of stories--each more delicious than the last--Fantastical is a tale to be savored....
|Title||:||Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia|
|Number of Pages||:||116 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia Reviews
The cover of Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia depicts a black-hatted bear standing upright atop a large ball, a black cane in one large paw. I wondered whether this slim volume of stories could live up to this imaginative cover with its dancing bear and tantalizing title. I needn't have worried.In this collection of stories set in 1980s Yugoslavia, Marija Bulatovic presents her attempts as a child to make sense of the "fantastical" world around her. But these stories are so much more than a childhood remembered because the Yugoslav nation she describes no longer exists. Fortunately, Bulatovic carries the culture with her and shares its beauty, its spectacle, its curiosities, and its foibles with her readers.Fantastical is clearly a labor of love: Bulatovic has a deep affection and respect for this lost world. Her lens is tight—she does not write about playmates or school, for example. Its focus is her grandparents, her parents, and their close-knit community in the Serbian city of Kraljevo. In a beautifully written introduction that provides a brief history of the Yugoslavia of her childhood, Bulatovic establishes the place, the people, and the events that will be her canvas:Strange happenings, outrageous gossip, black magic—all were part of the fabric of my childhood, along with the safetyand stability of home that was always there in the background, the love embodied in my parents, grandparents, and the larger circles of family and friends.In elegant and engaging prose, Bulatovic describes the diversity and the homogeneity, the natural world and the supernatural world, and the beliefs of the ethnic peoples, grounded in fact and superstition. When her mother tells her that eating hot dogs causes hemophilia, Bulatovic does not eat another hot dog for thirty years. Noticing what are apparently blood-tinged cigarette butts littering the apartment building's stairwell, she wonders whether black magic had a role in causing the smokers to bleed from their mouths.Readers may be surprised that a book called Fantastical is often so authentic and down to earth. In short chapters Bulatovic tackles the serious ("Hanging at the Day Care"), the everyday ("Keeping the House in Order"), the enchanted ("Gypsy Magic"), the innocent ("Puddle Under My Chair"), and the worldly ("The Angel of Syphilis"). All people and subjects are treated with the same warmth, respect, and affection, regardless of their status or their shortcomings.A grandchild of Eastern European immigrants myself, I found that many of her descriptions evoked the sights, sounds, and smells of my own childhood and the home of my grandparents. But a reader doesn't have to share these traditions to enjoy them, as told through the eyes of a child who noticed everything. Time, maturity, and an innate talent for the written word enable Bulatovic to articulate these scenes from her childhood in gorgeous language—she has a gift for description—but even though the language is adult, she manages to capture the innocence, wonder, even naughtiness, of her younger self with immediacy.In a brief postscript, Bulatovic explains that she wrote these stories after the birth of her first child, both as a respite from the demands of new motherhood and in a quest for "wisdom and enlightenment." In sharing this vivid portrait of a place that is lost to history, Bulatovic has given both her readers and her son a lovely gift.by Judy Plazykfor Story Circle Book Reviewsreviewing books by, for, and about women
Fantastical is a peek into Marija Bulatovic’s head seeing memories of her childhood unfold. She writes of her grandparents, parents and neighbors through the eyes of a child with the wisdom of an adult. Her tales of Yugoslavia in the 1980’s are not set up as a traditional novel. The fourteen chapters are in the form of short essays snapshots of times, places and people of Bulatovic’s youth. Many have photos, enriching the experience of stories that are odd, touching and quirky.My plan was to tell you about one or two of my favorites. Looking at the table of contents, it was impossible to narrow it down. So I’ll give you a sentence on each.Hanging at the Day Care: Does saving someone’s life really save them?Friday Mornings: From Farm to table, her grandparents fed their family with food and love.Wild Strawberry Jelly: Kids are kids no matter where they live.Blood-Stained Cigarettes: Stairways of her building hold secrets, Bulatovic searches for the truth.Puddle Under My Chair: A grandfather’s love is unconditional.Gypsy Magic: Gypsies and bears – enough said!Keeping the House in Order: Her grandparents liked order in their household – but sometimes too much!The Angel of Syphilis: Princesses or hookers – you decide.The Suicide Cult: Crazy, scary things happen in everyone’s life.Stranger in the Bed: Visiting relatives can be challenging.Hotdogs and Hemophilia: Forget the nitrates in hotdogs; Bulatovic has to worry about them causing hemophilia.The Engagement: Men and sports can really get under the skin of the women that love them.Whose Sit Is It Anyway? This essay made me laugh out loud.Postscript: To quote the author, “…life is much more than a sum of mundane survival activities.”This is a great change of pace, from the novels I normally read. The individual stories lend themselves to small snippets of reading if you don’t have time to read for very long. Keep it in the car to read while waiting for your kids to come out of school, or while waiting for an appointment.Copyright © 2015 Laura HartmanDISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review
FANTASTICAL: TALES OF BEARS, BEER AND HEMOPHILIAMarija BulatovicSOL, LLC (2015)ISBN 9780990410614Reviewed by Susan Violante for Reader Views (12/15)“Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia” by Marija Bulatovic is a recount of the author’s childhood when she stayed at her grandparents due to her health issues when she was a little girl. But the story depicts so much more than that. The author produced a vignette-style memoir that honors a way of life, a community, and its culture, which struggles to stay alive today even though the country no longer exists. Bulatovic presents readers with a beautiful piece of her culture through the eyes of a little girl. The author’s candid voice is captivating as her own melancholic memories echoes within the readers mind.I love Marija Bulatovic’s writing style. Her words flow with melody, almost like painting. The scenes come alive filled with color, sounds, and smell. She is definitely a gifted storyteller. I also loved the book design as it made sense and was easy to read. However, the title of the book and the cover threw me off as it didn’t really hint at the awesome read hidden inside. I almost skipped this book because of it, and that would have been a shame as I really enjoyed reading it."Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia" by Marija Bulatovic is a beautiful book that should be read by everyone. I am happy I read it and came out of it with a better appreciation, not only for people who try to keep their lost culture alive, but also of my own. I recommend “Fantastical” as a five-star read!