Not quite at the halfway point but as this book is a collection of stories wanted to capture the thoughts before getting too much further into it.
There must be a tradition in Eastern Europe of writing short stories that contain humour, sadness and the down right disturbing because this is the second book I've read that fits that description and comes from that part of the world.
The first one, The Elephant by Slawomir Mrozek, was a collection of stories that had the power to make you laugh out loud and at other points were incredibly moving. This is the same starting with the tale of the lion tamer from Circus Bulgaria being forced to sell his lion to make ends meet. As he drinks in the bar with the windfall he has not just lost his best friend but the meaning to his life.
Then there are other stories that stick in the memory like the boy who having lived in a single room for seven years believes he has found out the secret of flying grabbing pidgeon wings and attaching them to his arms. As he launches himself out of the tower block window that ends as you might expect.
But there are quirky stories about a ghostly figure sitting on a bench in the park able to send rays of good feeling to those other wanderers sitting on the benches.
Looking forward to the second half and a bit.
A review will follow next week...