.... built at Visegrad on the Bosnia-Serbian frontier by a grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century is the real hero of this epic-proportioned novel which has won for its author the highest Yugoslav literary award. The handsome stone bridge with its terrace and benches was the focal point of the easy Visigradians during three and a half turbulent, brutal centuries, from Radislav the saboteur who was impaled alive on its parapet to Alihodja, the last caretaker, who seeing it demolished, by the German army wondered about a world where beauty was so casually destroyed. Not a novel in the usual sense, but a series of variegated scenes arranged chronologically with a large number of characters, it is spiced with folk wit and saturated with the dramatically emotional spirit of the Serbo-Croat people. It is a book of considerable interest but limited appeal, the work of a man who has experienced the many cruelties and cataclysms of his time but has not submitted himself- or his work- to propagandist pressures. Readers of Milovan Djilas' autobiography may be attracted to a fictional treatment of a similar background and people.