Although individual moments are spot-lit with pinpoint clarity, the story as a whole remains concealed in the mists, and constantly changing. Even the structure of the book with its short chapters, each prefaced with a photo, shifts under you, as the timelines and connections are drawn backwards and forwards across years and miles. Readers can’t help but be lured into a spider’s web of overlapping stories with overlapping levels of 'truth'.
The one thing I remembered and missed from the before-the-war Sarajevo was a kind of unspoken belief that everyone could be whatever they claimed they were - each life, however imaginary, could be validated by its rightful, sovereign owner, from the inside. If someone told you he had flown in a cockpit or had been a teenage gigolo in Sweden or had eaten mamba kebabs, it was easy to choose to believe him; you could choose to trust his stories because they were good.