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City Sister Silver

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  14 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 legends, ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Catbird Press (first published 1994)
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MJ Nicholls
Aug 26, 2014 MJ Nicholls rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Don Frolimo
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
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
Catherine  Mustread
May 06, 2009 Catherine Mustread rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Catherine by: European Book club (Czech3/09)
Shelves: international, award
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
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.
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
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
Táda Mahel
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
Proč nejde dát 0 hvězdiček? Poprvé jsem nedočetla knihu! Odpad! :/
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.
hodně náročný čtení, ale na to, že to je pátý přes devátý, tak to má hlavu a patu a příběh jako čůrák.
Pavla Kosarova
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allix Davis
A great book from a exciting new post-communist Czech author
Astonishing masterpiece.
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