Drakulić’s task in this unusual collection of animal stories is to clarify the filmy confusion of “memory.” Her subject is not the central horrors of central Europe-the Holocaust and Stalinist terror-but rather the lives of the generations that grew up under communism, people of her own generation. Guided Tour is fundamentally the story of the end, of how that system was experienced across the plurality of nations (each animal is in a different post-communist country), of how Stalinism came apart.
This slim volume is both charming and humorous. In addition it is simultaneously serious and thought-provoking. It takes a tour through a number of East European, former state-socialist countries – Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Romania and Albania – examining their political and social characteristics before the changes of 1989-90, and in many cases afterwards as well.
The Budapest Times