False pretences: No-Signal Area, by Robert Perisic, reviewed

A journalist and poet based in Zagreb, Robert Perišic was in his early twenties when the socialist federal republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1992. Croatia’s transition to capitalism inspired his 2007 novel Our Man in Iraq. Now No-Signal Area explores the search for meaning in a supposedly post-ideological world. Set in a fictitious town in a war-ravaged nation somewhere ‘between the East and the West’, it tells of two entrepreneurial cousins, Nikola and Oleg, who reopen a communist-era factory in order to produce an obsolete turbine from the 1980s, with the intention of selling it on the black market to an Arab dictator. They gain the trust of the workers