Out of the West

| June 6, 2014


Out of the West

“What really struck me about this book is how much it reminded me of some of the best literature that has come out of Britain in the last century. The Scottish scenes have a curious combination of dourness and excitement that remind me of both Alasdair Gray, in his seminal work Lanark, as well as the bestselling books of Alexander McCall Smith. The Greek scenes are described sparingly and they feel like they could have been written by Patrick Leigh Fermor, a great-British adventurer/writer who spent his war hiding from the German army on Crete. The battle scenes have an authenticity that come from the author himself, a journalist who was an eyewitness to some real battles in wartime Bosnia.” Rupert Wolfe-Murray in The Huffington Post

Out of the West is a compelling work of literary fiction, a war novel that explores the challenges of peace. A gripping historical adventure, it paints a portrait of courage and love in the fatal shadow of global conflict that has spilled into the twenty-first century.

Citizens of Nazi-occupied Greece face daily decisions that affect their freedom and their survival. When music teacher Petros intervenes in a dispute between a Greek woman and a German soldier, he and jazz singer Thea are plunged into the brutal world of armed resistance.

Ian Chalmers, a British agent, lands in Northern Greece, where he joins Petros’ and Thea’s network. Never fully understanding his Greek collaborators, he forms a deep bond with them.

In Scotland after World War Two, Ian is alienated from everyday life until he meets Clare, an up and coming intelligence officer. Surrounded by opportunity and courted by influential mentors, Ian and Clare learn that integrity has to be fought for in peacetime Britain just as in wartime Europe.

When Ian undertakes a final mission to Greece, now in the full throes of civil war, the weight of ideology and history descends with sudden force on the small town where former friends and enemies confront one another in a terrifying climax.

Who is Kevin Sullivan

Kevin Sullivan studied Ancient Greek at school in Scotland and hitchhiked around mainland Greece as a student in the 1970s.

Though most of his career in journalism involved reporting from East Asia, he also covered the conflict in former Yugoslavia (in 1993 he was seriously injured in a landmine explosion in Central Bosnia), an experience that renewed his interest in the culture and history of Southeast Europe.

In the mid 1990s, Kevin and his wife Marija bought an antique house in a mountain village south of Granada, and for several years lived and worked in the distinctive and infinitely interesting atmosphere of rural Spain.

Today, with their daughter Katarina, they spend summers in the same village, walking, swimming, eating ice cream and enjoying the company of neighbours. The rest of the year they live in Sarajevo, Marija’s native city and a place where Kevin has felt at home since he first visited in 1991. Their old Austro-Hungarian apartment is full of books and (homemade as well as prerecorded) music.


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