Tentatively, Convenience's Reviews > Case Closed

Case Closed by Patrik Ouředník
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really liked it
bookshelves: literature, mysteries

** spoiler alert ** Yet-another writer for me to try to read more by. This reminded me most of Flann O'Brien - who's one of my favorite writers & whose bk "The Dalkey Archive" I presume (perhaps incorrectly) to be the source for the name of the press that published "Case Closed" (& many other bks that interest me).

Ouředník is a Czech ex-pat living in France & he's pretty down on Czechs. That's interesting for me given that I only experience Czech culture thru the work of people like Vera Chytilova & Jan Svankmayer - 2 of my favorite filmmakers - &, therefore, have a high opinion of Czech culture. Of course, such creative folks are the exception to the rule in any culture so I reckon the Czechs are as much a mess as any other people in any other country.

Given that I'm writing this 'review' in the 10 minutes before I have to leave to go to a job where I'll be tearing walls down all day, wch I don't feel like doing at all, & given that I'm exhausted right now, perhaps this 'review' is 'best' made by quoting the entirety of "Chapter 24", thereby making this a "spolier" of sorts:

"Readers! Does our story seem rambling? Do you have the feeling that the plot is at a standstill? That, generally speaking, nothing much is going on in the book you now hold in your hands? Do not despair: Either the author's a fool or you are; the odds are even. Others have died and so shall we, we'll die, oy vey, alack, alas! Who on earth knows how on earth it will turn out! Sometimes a person gets tangled up in his own life without realizing it; and the same is true of characters in novels.

"You ask, How will it end? But that, dear readers, we cannot reveal. We began this story with no clear aim or preconceived idea. How will it turn out, we haven't a clue. We're in the same boat as you, or almost, since at this moment, as you read our book, our work is done; the book is out, you bought it, invested part of your earnings in the hope that it would pay off in the form of spiritual dividends. We don't mean to be impolite, we have no intention of committing cheap provocations, and yet, and yet: what do we care? We've assumed the majority of responsibility; now it's up to you to patiently bear your share."

& that's a pretty good taste of the underpinnings of the bk except that it really is more complicated than that AND it really is a mystery & a novel of social observation & a critique of Czechs & a playful thing, etc.. AND it seems to me that the translation is probably pretty good b/c I enjoyed the language. So there.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 23, 2010 – Finished Reading
August 24, 2010 – Shelved
August 24, 2010 – Shelved as: literature
August 24, 2010 – Shelved as: mysteries

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