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Czech Dreambook Reviews

Czech Dreambook by Ludvik Vaculik, Gerald Turner, Jonathan Bolton

Czech Dreambook

Ludvik Vaculik, Gerald Turner, Jonathan Bolton

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Karolinum,Nakladatelstvi Univerzity Karlovy,Czech Republic
Publisher: Karolinum,Nakladatelstvi Univerzity Karlovy,Czech Republic
Publication date: 6 Dec 2019
ISBN: 9788024638522

A dreamlike novel that is a classic of dissident literature from Czechoslovakia, in English for the first time; Havel called it "a truly profound and perceptive account."

4 stars out of 5
30 May 2020

"There is a wonderfully compelling authenticity to the book’s blurring of high-minded political conviction with equally urgent personal needs"

A Czech Dreambook has cult status in the Czech Republic. Sparklingly translated by Gerald Turner, it offers a fascinating experience to British readers: the candour of Vaculík (who died in 2015), his insistence on presenting himself in lights both positive and negative, without spin – as when he reads Madla’s diary about his own infidelity, snooping on his own wife like a secret policeman – is especially refreshing. Always on the outside of whatever side there was, he was an entertaining, visionary refusenik: the new totalitarianism, he told me, was the internet, which would “lead us to a life of insects”. In his Dreambook, his frankness is also a deliberate literary stance, a warning to us not to trust in heroes.