Monday, 13 September 2010

Bogomil Rainov - There is Nothing Better than Bad Weather

"Because bad things are far more than the good ones, we have no other choice but to accept them and learn to love them."

This sentence, beside being my favorite from Rainov's novel There is Nothing Better than Bad Weather, is also very descriptive of his type of writing. With his elegant sense of humour, moderate pessimism, and enthralling tone, the author easily becomes a favorite to read. Bogomil Rainov is a highly controversial personage in Bulgarian literature. A member of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Socialistic Party, he is responsible for the imposition of the so-called "socialistic idealism" and for the banishment of many "ideologically confused" writers. If you have never lived in a communist country, such as Bulgaria, this means writers who openly opposed the regime in their works. Rainov, quite the opposite, supported the regime and consequently was largely criticized after 1989 (the year the Communist rule ended in Bulgaria). Nevertheless, I am not ashamed to say I like his style, I enjoyed There is Nothing Better than Bad Weather, and I will indeed be reading more of his criminal and spy novels.

The first Bulgarian writer that appears in my blog is a Communist. This, however, doesn't give you the right (or the pleasure) to condemn me immediately (as my father loves to say) BRIGHTLY RED. I completely agree that the political beliefs of an author largely influence the themes in his works (take Victor Hugo, for example, about whom I will talk in my next post). However, one being a Communist (or pretending to be such in order to escape persecutions) doesn't immediately say anything about the quality of his works. Rainov is gifted with an incredible voice, which the reader must indeed benefit from. Keeping in mind, of course, he worked during the Communist rule.

Bogomil Rainov is mostly famous for his criminal novels, which were very popular in the USSR as well. The protagonist is Emil Boev, who, in my opinion can easily compete with Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Boev is a fascinating person with a sense of humour and an enviable flair for solving crimes and riddles. There is Nothing Better than Bad Weather finds him a Bulgarian spy in Western Europe, trying to uncover a corporation, which trades illegally behind the Iron Curtain. There is love, of course, in the presence of his voluptuous secretary Edit (which also happens to be an Eastern European spy). Highly addictive, this novel is a very good example of an almost perfect criminal novel. Ideal for the beach, for a lonely and boring Thursday night with a glass of wine, or simply for all those of you that love thrillers. I am not one of them, still Rainov impressed me as well and I will be indeed reading more about Emil Boev.


  1. He has also written a nice novel, "Black Swan", which seems to have inspired the 2009 Hollywood movie with Natalie Portman. There seems to be a Bulgarian version of the movie as well but I have not seen that.

  2. Yes, there is a bulgarian version of black swan. You can find it on youtube searching with cyrilic letters the bulgarian title. I am a big fan of Bogomil Rainov from very young age. I was amased by his sense of humour and later put it next to douglas adams and pratchet although rainov doesnt have the "empire" tone. Btw i am bulgarian currently living in london. And i now reread all of his books and still amazed of the wisdom contained inside.

  3. I read Bogomil Rainov's novels in the late 70's during my schools years in Cuba-in Spanish and I can only compare him to Dashiel Hammet or Raymond Chandler. These are my greatest crime fiction writers, ever.

  4. Do you know how i can order any of his books in english?