Case Closed (Czech Literature)

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9781564785770: Case Closed (Czech Literature)
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Centered on an elderly retiree and his intellectual adversary, the shrewd Inspector Lebeda, "Case Closed" is filled with all the expected elements of a thriller--murder, rape, suicide!--but soon reveals itself as a wily and sophisticated parable about the dangers of language itself, in which the author takes aim at human nature with a devastating arsenal of genre-mixing, wordplay, and whimsical, biting satire.

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About the Author:

Patrik Ou?ednik was born in Prague, but immigrated to France in 1984 where he still lives. He is the author of eight books, including fiction, essays, and poems. He is also the Czech translator of novels, short stories, and plays from such writers as Francois Rabelais, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Queneau, Samuel Beckett, and Boris Vian. He has received a number of literary awards for his writing, including the Czech Literary Fund Award

From Publishers Weekly:

Some suspicious goings-on among a group of sprightly elders in a Prague retirement home prove fairly inconsequential to the enjoyment of this charming post-Communist mash-up of a detective novel, social satire, and chess game. Two arson attempts and a suspicious suicide have prompted chief inspector Vilém Lebeda of the Linden Street police station to interrogate the retirement complex's residents, including widowed misanthrope Viktor Dyk. After a little gumshoeing, Vilém discovers that Viktor has a half-witted son, Dyk Jr., who harbors obscure memories of childhood violence, and that Dyk senior has ties to another murder that took place 40 years before at a cabin in the Ore Mountains that holds some interest to two of the retirees who come to ill-fated ends. Ouredník (Europeana) offers tantalizing clues in brief chapters and alternating points of view that are endlessly, and humorously, non-intersecting; but the chain of perhaps unrelated events amounts to a gleeful skewering of the Czech national character and a character-rich, dialogue-sassy send-up colored by a lingering Communist legacy. (Apr.)
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