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City Sister Silver

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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  212 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Winner of the Egon Hostovský Prize as the best Czech book of the year, this epic novel powerfully captures the sense of dislocation that followed the Czechs’ newfound freedom in 1989. More than just the story of its young protagonist—who is part businessman, part gang member, part drifter—it is a novel that includes terrifying dream scenes, Czech and American Indian legend ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Catbird Press (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30)
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MJ Nicholls
Nov 21, 2011 MJ Nicholls rated it really liked it
Recommended to MJ by: Book Group Lassie #1
An enormous hypocaust of a novel. A sprawling epic both exhilarating and insufferable. Split into three sections (see title), this Egon Hostovský Prize-winner uses a freeform poetic style—fractured dreamlike clauses caught in large cumulonimbus paragraphs—blending narration with dialogue, breaking down all linear time and plot into a continuous “pressent” narrative. We weave in and out of scenes with no distinction between reality, fantasy or dreams, scarcely aware of what is “happening” but odd ...more
Jan
Apr 02, 2013 Jan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Sestra pro mě je byla a bude velký objev. Ve svobodě psaní, bohatství jazyka a možnostech převyprávění. Ta kniha má neuvěřitelný literární náboj. Je v jednom ohledu velmi novátorská - styl je svérázný, inovativní, rouhačsky odvážný a magický. Na druhou stranu je však Topol tradicionalistický, opakuje nově a nechává znovu ožívat staré příběhy, městské bajky, legendy a dějinné události. Jeho nová mytologie má však výrazně očistný charakter - v lyrizaci civilizačních krutostí a životní špíny, v nek ...more
Roseb612
Sestra je bez diskuzí román, ke kterému se člověk musí pročíst a především prožít. Knížku mám už od vysoké, koupila jsem si ji nedlouho po vydání (vliv spolubydlící na koleji, která studovala literaturu) a opravdu jsem se ji tenkrát i pokoušela číst, ale velmi záhy jsem to vzdala s tím, že se to prostě nedá učíst. Za celou tu dobu jsem se k ní vrátila jednou asi před deseti lety, ale se stejným výsledkem a nebýt projektu 1001, tak nevím, jestli bych ji dala třetí šanci - a to by byla velká škoda ...more
Pavla Kosarova
Magický příběh na pomezí snů a reality... pro mě osobně přelom v chápání literatury.
Pečivo
Sep 10, 2013 Pečivo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: škoda-favorit
hodně náročný čtení, ale na to, že to je pátý přes devátý, tak to má hlavu a patu a příběh jako čůrák.
Becky
Feb 16, 2012 Becky rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1001-list-books
Man, was I glad to put this book down! This was too clever for me. City Sister Silver is the Czech equivalent of Trainspotting, only the historical setting is a little more serious. Set in the Czech Republic just after the Germans have left, it's about Potok, and his search for meaning to his life in this new style of country. Except he searches for meaning by running dodgy trades with the Far East, drinking too much, taking a truck load of hallucinogens, and then talking to his friends about th ...more
Deanne
Set around the time that the wall came down some parts of the book are really good, things that I wasn't aware of. The number of people who travelled into the west as soon as they could, and Topol's description of the chaos.
There are sections that seem more like dream sequences, the Laotians living in the apartment block, the dissappearances and the sections dealing with Cerna in particular. Had to concentrate to make sense of this.
Would like to have given it more stars but for the confusing ju
...more
Maartje Witteveen
Aug 05, 2014 Maartje Witteveen rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1001-books-read
I am not good at doing reviews. Either I like a book, or I don't, but usually I can't really say why. Sometimes when I hate a book enough, I do have something to say about it though. This is one of those books.

Seriously, wtf?! I have no idea what I just read, and I absolutely do not understand how this ended up on Boxall's 1001 list. Most of the book seemed like a messy dream sequence or bad trip, and the parts that did make sense were just disturbing. Normal punctuation would have been nice too
...more
Catherine  Mustread
Feb 06, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it liked it
Recommended to Catherine by: European Book club (Czech3/09)
Shelves: award, international
In reading the translator's (Alex Zucker) notes and Ali's review I can see why this would be considered difficult. Like a literary jig-saw puzzle, seemingly random scenes flit across the pages. From World Literature Today "The action of the novel begins before the Velvet Revolution in November 1989 and ends probably in 1993. The narrator of the bizarre story is Potok, a former actor in an underground theater."

Finished, after forcing myself through the middle section -- hate to give up, and it is
...more
Ali
Jan 16, 2009 Ali rated it really liked it
Difficult, very difficult to read. But worth it in the end. It may take you two years to get through like it did me, but I think I got something from it.
Sisi-alex
Mar 15, 2014 Sisi-alex rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Proč nejde dát 0 hvězdiček? Poprvé jsem nedočetla knihu! Odpad! :/
Eileen
May 04, 2016 Eileen rated it it was amazing
City Sister Silver the real avant-garde thing: a post-modern punk version of T.S. Eliot's "waste land" that literally ends up among the vast detritus of a newly capitalist Prague. Along the way, it is Dante at the end of the twentieth century: a gradual descent to the lowest level of a country on the edge. How Alex Zucker was able to translate this is beyond me.

The story is narrated by a young man named Potok as he drifts through a soon-to-be Czech Republic that has just thrown off communism and
...more
Angela
Feb 17, 2017 Angela rated it liked it
No thanks.
The lurching ride is one thing, though acclimatisable; and the book certainly has a lot of real things to say; but I have read more than enough about the filth of humanity.
Maryann
Jun 13, 2014 Maryann rated it liked it
Shelves: 1001
This novel is set in post-Velvet Revolution Czech Republic. The sense of unrest, of people not knowing who to trust or how to conduct their lives, is very well represented. The book is narrated by Potok, a young man who is an actor by trade, but part of an "Organization" that makes money in all kinds of underhanded and illegal ways. They are brothers, he and his organization, not just associates and they all have very particular roles. Potok's adventures take dangerous and ill-fated twists as he ...more
Robert
Jul 26, 2011 Robert rated it did not like it
I don’t know why but I’ve never really warmed to Czech writers , Kundera, Kafka ok I do like Hrabal but at the moment that’s the only exception. Yes I didn’t like City Sister Silver either.

As I stated before I’m not a fan of stream of conscious writing style and the novel is stuffed with it. Not only that but there are puns , double entendres and neologisms but these are lost in translation, despite the fact that the translator does a good job of explaining certain terms.

In essence City Sister S
...more
Táda Mahel
Jul 07, 2014 Táda Mahel rated it it was amazing
Těžká knížka, ale stojí za to se skrz ní prokousat. Nejdřív jsem si ji půjčil z knihovny, o pár let později ale neodolal a koupil ji. Už dva roky mi netknutě leží v knihovničce, ale jednou se k ní znovu dostanu. Sestra je totiž kniha, kterou chci mít po ruce pořád
Anna
Nov 07, 2010 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Astonishing masterpiece.
Nicole
May 05, 2015 Nicole rated it liked it
I can tell its a good book....but it was quite a struggle.
Dana
Apr 11, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ceska-literatura
Nesmírně zajímavý jazyk. Příběh taky, ale chvilkama jsem se v tom ztrácela, pamatovat si kdo je kdo a navíc se orientovat v některých pasážích bylo dost obtížné.
Margarita
Sep 09, 2013 Margarita rated it it was amazing
Skvělý.
Vladimír Žák
Sister.
Eleanora Bulldogowicz
Eleanora Bulldogowicz rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2015
phoebess
phoebess rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2016
Jiří Štěpán
Jiří Štěpán rated it really liked it
May 19, 2017
Jan Mucha
Jan Mucha rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2013
Jak To
Jak To rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2013
Kunik91
Kunik91 rated it liked it
Jul 23, 2016
Karla
Karla rated it really liked it
May 30, 2011
Paul
Paul rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2012
Val
Val rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2012
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áchym Topol was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to Josef Topol, Czech playwright, poet, and translator of Shakespeare, and Jiřina Topolová, daughter of the famous Czech Catholic writer Karel Schulz.

Topol's writing began with lyrics for the rock band Psí vojáci, led by his younger brother, Filip, in the late '70s and early '80s. In 1982, he cofounded the samizdat magazine Violit, and in 1985 Revolv
...more
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“...an when we got there, O my brothers and chiefs, we saw what it said: OSVETIM, Auschwitz, an it was too late for us to turn back, no matter how badly we wanted to...” 0 likes
“…my loved one was a bee and a butterfly and knew how to cut with her claws and her tongue, and I tried too … we learned from each other what was good for the other, and that made both of us stronger … running, and the earth turned beneath us, running by graves and leaping across them, avoiding the bones and glassy stares and empty eyesockets … of wolf skulls … and steering clear of traps and snares, we had experience … with falling stakes and poisoned meat … we made it without harm through the red pack's territory … and met the last of the white wolves, they were wracked with disease … and the big black wolves chased us, but we escaped … we, the gray wolves of the Carpathians, had an age-old war with them, they were surprised we fled, their jaws snapping shut on empty air, they had a hunch it was their turn next, the helicopters were on the way … we ran side by side, our bodies touching … running over the earth as it turned, with the wind whistling in our ears like a lament for every dead pack … and the clicking of our claws made the earth's motion accelerate … we ran over the earth, a mass grave, running away …” 0 likes
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