Gottland: Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia
Winner of the Europe Book Prize
One of Europe’s most preeminent investigative journalists travels to the Czech Republic—the Czech half of the former Czechoslovakia, the land that brought us Kafka—to explore the surreal fictions and the extraordinary reality of its twentieth century.
For example, there’s the story of the small businessman who adopted Henry Ford’s ideas on p...more
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Despite of my moderate efforts, my current Polish doesn't go very far. And no one thought to give this book a chance on the English speaking market.
Which is a shame.
Perhaps it's just the name of its author, Szczygiel (roughly pronounced Shigyaooh).
Perhaps it's the title of the book, Gottland (no, it's not German).
On the whole, for an average British or American reader, I assume there seems to be very little to get from such obscure and tongue-twisting ...more
Hana's nightmare: (view spoiler)[...I awoke suddenly. There were men wearing ill-fitting suits going through my bookcases. They were pulling my books off the shelves. “Trash!” One man grabbed my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, ripping the cover from my old, well-thumbed paperback, shredding it with his hairy fingers. They took all my Harry Potters. All seven of them. “Garbage, low-brow propaganda,” said the seco ...more
This is a translation of a Polish book, and I'm thankful I read it. 3.5 stars.
There are, by turns, fascinating, horrible, and hilarious, often all at once. Great writing and amazing bits of Czech history.
Why "mostly true"? Are we not supposed to believe the stories? Is this history/journalism, or ar ...more
Also sad is the fact that there are multiple errors in the book (Hus being from 13th century or invasion in 1969) which really shouldn't happen, especially as the book is meant for foreign readers.
The stories are written nicely, they are short and it's pleasant read.