So, first of all I'm happy to report that Romanians have a very good translation of the book, thanks to Marius Dobrescu. I understand the situation is not so good for the English version, which is translated from French, which is translated from Albanian. huh!
People say that in order to like this book you need a bit of patience. Actually I was hooked. Not from the first chapter, that's true, but from the second, which is actually a story that combines magical realism with folklore. The book was likable but it ended too soon, I had the feeling I.K. could have gone into depth with the story, the characters, the kanun
I was absolutely fascinated (and started googling right away) about kanun
, the customary set of laws Albanians had for hundred of years and which was revived after the fall of the communist regime. As I read, Kadare often discusses this subject in his books, so I'm tempted to try something else really soon.
For those interested, here's a link to the Romanian translator's postface, which also explains a bit the kanun
(blood feud): http://atelier.liternet.ro/articol.php?art=755