A brutally funny, carnivalesque novel about love, death, and survival, from the Czech Republic’s greatest living authorA brutally funny, carnivalesque novel about love, death, and survival, from the Czech Republic’s greatest living author
Tab, an itinerant Czech actor, travels around Europe on the theater circuit with his partner, Soňa, and their two young sons, attending festivals and performing plays. Confronted with growing resentment toward foreigners, Tab decides to return home to the banks of the Sázava River, southeast of Prague. As soon as they arrive, Tab finds himself falsely accused of a terrible crime and forced to go on the run with his sons. Over the course of their journey, dodging authorities by car, foot, and raft, they encounter a motley cast of allies and enemies. The effects of Tab’s sudden reappearance and just-as-sudden disappearance ripple through the community, catalyzing a chaotic chain of events that reaches a final, raucous crescendo.
Hailed as “a picaresque romp of black humor and fantasy” (Times Literary Supplement), this is an unforgettable novel about discovering sparks of humanity even in the bleakest of places, in which love or the longing to find it lies around every bend.
“A superb, mesmerizing novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, set against the background of the permanent Russian threat to Central Europe.”—Misha Glenny, BBC broadcaster and journalist
Praise for the Czech Edition:
“A picaresque romp of black humor and fantasy, the novel teems with extraordinary characters, but it is also urgently contemporary.”—James A. Hopkin, Times Literary Supplement
“As long as Europe inspires such works of art, all is not lost.”—Jorg Plath, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
“Fast-paced and dazzling.”—Dennis Wagner, Kultur.21