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Notes from Underground

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Set in the twilight years of the Czechoslovak communist regime, recalled from the suburbs of Washington, this novel describes a doomed love affair between two young people trapped by the system. Roger Scruton evokes a world in which every word and gesture bears a double meaning, as people seek to find truth amid the lies and love in the midst of betrayal. The novel tells ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published March 12th 2014 by Beaufort Books (first published 2014)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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Takuto Sato
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
75% into the book I realized that I picked up this book by mistake; I meant to read the book of the same title by Dostoyevsky.

Despite the mixup, I really enjoyed Scruton's Notes from Underground.

(more review to come later)
Alan
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epub

Set in the twilight years of the Czechoslovak communist regime, recalled from the suburbs of Washington, this novel describes a doomed love affair between two young people trapped by the system. Roger Scruton evokes a world in which every word and gesture bears a double meaning, as people seek to find truth amid the lies and love in the midst of betrayal. The novel tells the story of Jan Reichl, condemned to a menial life by his father's alleged crime, and of Betka, the girl who offers him

...more
Hasanthi
Nov 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Roger Scruton's book - Notes from Underground, is a book of history. Well I am not a history person. So the story was a bit confusing to me, since I was not aware about the background of the country and it's history all together the scenario of the story.

The story unwinds in the old age of Czechoslovak about young man named Jan Reichi. His doomed love story which is imprisoned by the system. Jan Reichi is denounced for his father's claimed crime. Betka, the whom young girl Jan falls in love,
...more
Matej
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bratislava
Historizujúci román, nie literatúra faktu, ako som čakal.

Pár zaujímavých pozorovaní k disentu na pozadí romantického príbehu a pomerne veľa prednášok k pravde a pre mňa nasilu zasadených estetických postrehov.
Anicius
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A love story in a world of literary imagination cocooned in Prague during the fadeout of the communist government. It examines the curious engagement of the lovers in the shifting realities and social conformities during the transition.

Jacob Jones
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A tough read but well worth it.
Mary-Clare
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I have been struggling to find fictional books that I actually want to finish. This is very well written and really made me think.
Dirk Nachbar
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had hoped for more insight into socialism itself
I am a bit weary of books which stress the importance of books
good knowledge of Czech for a foreigner though
Mauro
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
You half-expect, when you get a Roger S. book, that it will be didactic and supportive of his conservative point-of-view.

Notes from U., a work of fiction, does not disappoint that half-expectation: Roger S. uses his personal experience with the urderground Prague of the 80s and the result resembles, for that time and place, what Grahan G.'s The Third Man is for the 50's Vienna.

It is a good story, that takes Prague as a tantalizing background, but lacks something: sometimes the text reminds you
...more
Kerry
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: eastern-europe
While this book raises some good points--such as the fact that those who are made into celebrities will be treated more leniently or fairly by those in power due to outside pressure and risk of embarrassment--overall, it's just one long, emphatic wheeze in which the effort is clear but the execution is painful.

Like in Dostoevsky, the characters are set up as representations of certain ideas. And then they talk about them. And talk about them. And go on talking about them, with nary a pause for
...more
Lynne
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting novel for those of us who experienced Prague under Communism. The oppressive gray atmosphere is familiar, even though this is set in the 1980's, well after my family left. The author worked to help underground intellectuals publish and receive work despite the dangers involved. This was the "world of beautiful defiance" for which there is palpable nostalgia. For his work he was awarded the Czech Republic Medal of Merit by Vaclav Havel, playwright and president. As a ...more
Renato Passos
Beautifully written, a bit too sad, a bit too slow...

Beautifully written; a bit too sad; a bit too slow... A sad story of love illustrating the even sadder history of communism in Czechoslovakia.
Julie
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
This story is set within a communist regime where every thing and everyone is suspect.
Joel Zartman
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Profound, luminous, not cheap, satisfying. I read it almost all at one go.
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Sir Roger Scruton was a writer and philosopher who has published more than forty books in philosophy, aesthetics and politics. He was a fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He taught in both England and America and was a Visiting Professor at Department of Philosophy and Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, he was also a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and ...more
“The first axiom of Marx Scientist is that everything they tell you is a lie. The second axiom is that it doesn’t matter, since you are lying too. The third axiom is ‘Kill all liars!” 3 likes
“The goal, Karel said, was not to tell explicit lies but to destroy the distinction between the true and the false, so that lying becomes neither necessary nor possible.” 1 likes
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