You know just enough about the characters — no more, no less. You are provided with just enough background information. It keeps the story tight and moves things along in ways that longer works often struggle with. Perhaps if you look closely you can see the traces of a formula, but it is applied so skillfully that it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment or impact of the narrative.
Tišma makes death a haunting presence, coming in and out of focus, receding and approaching. It is always there and always palpable, and is never far away.