Patrola na cesti is a collection containing ten family short stories. It is actually ten short ‘digested’ films about war and peace, parents and children, quarrelling brothers, tyrannical fathers and rebellious daughters, wives gone missing, senile parents, sprawling houses, and family funerals.
It has been named after a famous ballad by Bruce Springsteen and may be taken as a chronicle of the modern Croatian and Dalmatian family told in ten chapters.
Croat, Dalmatian Jurica Pavičić writes excellent stories, with fine inclination toward family melodrama: misunderstandings and misfortunes in a family, everyday life and a war, violence and death, escapes and funerals, sons and fathers, brothers and sisters….It’s hard to distinguish who is winner and who is loser there- winner and loser in everyday life, war and peace.
“Classical Pavičić”: intimate doubts that tear us apart and family misunderstandings are intertwined with external chaos, chaos created by a “new”, cruel political system. “Highway Patrol” is executed in a manner that we can only respect.
Sensitive portrait of the ambient which iz southern definitely, and Southern undoubtly, but recognizable and understandable to all. Excellent stories!
In a “Highway Patrol” you’ll probably encounter yourself, your own pictures from childhood, you’ll probably stumble over your own delusions, longings or fears. If it happens that from this book you hear your father’s voice, that you enter into your granny’s room, if you have a feeling that the one with whom you eat a soup from the bowl speaks to you in a first person, then it becomes impossible to read such a book in any other key except the key of your own home. This book is a book about things gossiped in every terrace while you sip macchiato.
Between southern magic and southern melancholy, Pavičić is strongest when he explores a psyche of the heroes- heroes whose happiness, joy or rage imminently withdraw in front of the “mute, white emptiness”.
Mordor of Croatian Highlands materialised in front of my eyes, misteriously compressed into a short story form. Pavičić’s stories bare no unneccessary words…. it’s impossible to find any week spot in this collection.
Pavičić had found a nice tone for his stories. He sensibly involves a reader into a topic, go back and forth in time, and through flashbacks reaches the core of the story. He shows us that things could be interely different then it seemed at the first glance- but, leaves to the reader to imagine how that „different“ would look, to reach conclusions and imagine the rest. That leaves a long-lasting echo.