God Does Not Love The Workers
The sewers of Bucharest, Romania, Christmas 1989. Vlad and other Securitate secret police comrades fan out across a city about to fall to counter-revolution.
The show trial and execution of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu are broadcast on television. Vlad, raised as an assassin in a Securitate orphanage in Targoviste, home of Vlad the Impaler, vows to avenge the death of his adoptive ‘parents’ in that very town. Moving from safe-house to safe-house, with help from remnants of the regime, he begins to pick off those involved in the murders. Vlad wanders around the new Romania, observing the turning of coats, the miners’ rampages, meeting other post-communist undead.
As European integration and a ‘fully functioning market economy’ beckon, he carves, quite literally, a lucrative and grisly niche. Love and fatherhood remain a possibility. But Vlad, like the stray dogs and street walkers he frequents, knows that life is becoming increasingly dangerous. As one victim exclaims: ‘God does not love the workers!’.
Gavin Bowd hails from the Scottish Borders. He is a poet, fiction writer, journalist and literary translator, notably of Michel Houellebecq. He has published widely on Romania.
His previous works include:
Rifle Song (2023)
Mémoires d'Outre-France (2016)
The Last Communard: Adrien Lejeune, the Unexpected Life of a Revolutionary (2016)
Fascist Scotland: Caledonia and the Far Right (2012)
Memoria razboiului, 1941-1945 (2006)
Le Monde de Houellebecq (2006)
Paul Morand et la Roumanie (2003)
Michel Houellebecq, Unreconciled
Michel Houellebecq, The Map and the Territory
Michel Houellebecq, The Possibility of an Island
Dov Hoenig, Triumph Street, Bucharest