Igor Bergler, the best-selling Romanian author in the past 25 years, has won again the most important prize at the Gaudeamus book fair. He is by far the author dominating the book market in Romania.
Gaudeamus Fair, considered the most important editorial event in Romania, gets together over 300 publishing houses every November, offering tens of thousands of titles worldwide. Among all these, only one book has the privilege to be awarded the book of the year prize.
2017 was the year of Testament of Abraham, the book that has broken all records, with 30,000 copies sold less than three months since its release.
Author Igor Bergler scores his third consecutive success. In 2015, his debut novel, The Lost Bible, the best-sold book in Romania’s recent history- over 130,000 copies in two years, has won this trophy. The same book was nominated ex aequo for the same prize in 2016, next to the Harry Potter series.
The trophy is awarded following a survey among those over 125,000 visitors of the fair.
At the same time, Testament of Abraham was not only the most coveted book but also the best sold one, with over 1,000 copies sold in just four days.
Litera’s stall, the publishing house that released the book, was scanty at the book launching last Saturday, an event attended by Pavel Dusara, Bedros Horasangian and Jean Harris.
Jean Harris, the translator of Igor Bergler’s books made some remarks.
“Who dunit?” Is American slang for “who did it?” A whodunit is a complex detective novel that gives the reader a chance to figure things out along with the brilliant detective. In our case, The Testament of Abraham is an all-American whodunit by a Romanian author, and our Sherlock Holmes is none other than Princeton University’s Professor Charles Baker, whom you all know from The Lost Bible. You’ve seen the videos. You know Igor Bergler. You expect lavish scenery, a plot that twists and turns, cinematographic action, international settings, codes, clues and a terrible conspiracy. I won’t spoil the fun by disclosing Abraham Lincoln’s best kept secret. Instead, I can tell you, you’ll learn something while working out the details of the mind bogglingly intricate plot. Come for the titillation, stay for the information. The Testament of Abraham is a book that makes reading sexy.
More than that, because all the detective work in Abraham relates to books and because Abraham is about the fate of books over time, this is a book that presents books as an object of desire: near universal desire across centuries. Like all objects of desire, they arouse hatred in tyrants and conspirators who are threatened by truth. In this sense, The Testament of Abraham makes you take sides. Whose side are you on? Are you with the readers, who have learned to think, or are you with the ignorant, who have been manipulated into idiocracy? Seriously, the unstated but omnipresent message of Abraham is, if you have kids, sit down and read to them every night. One day they’ll insist on transparent democracy and a free society.