A miscellany from an energetic Croatian writer, whose most famous novella, this volume's title (and best) piece, was made into a popular film. First published in 1969 in Yugoslavia, it's a picaresque, foulmouthed comic portrayal of a fractious extended family in Belgrade who do their (none too good) best to become dutiful Communists under Marshall Tito. The shorter stories, quite similar in tone and content, feel like segments of a single incoherent larger work. The collection also contains several of osi's sociopolitical essays. They come across as jejune, although ""Hamsun's Baedeker,"" a wry appreciation of the great Norwegian novelist as traveler and misanthrope, has several good moments. On the whole, though, a decidedly mixed bag.