Foto do autor

Jaroslav Kalfař

Autor(a) de Spaceman of Bohemia

3 Works 420 Membros 27 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Jaroslav Kalfař

Obras de Jaroslav Kalfař


Conhecimento Comum



I just didn't get it.
grandpahobo | outras 24 resenhas | Mar 31, 2024 |
Much like in his first novel, Kalfař has again included a science fiction story but that's not what this novel IS, not what it is really about. The past is never actually gone, and the future will not exist without its freighted history; Kalfař's characters either grapple with that or embrace it, and a Czech heritage leans those strongly towards the latter. Even the tale itself carries a load of literature past.

I was delighted that Karel Čapek's brilliant 1936 novel "War With the Newts" ("Válka s mloky") figures so actively through the middle acts; that book is not merely extraordinary but perhaps quite timely as well, and a more wry, Czech piece would be hard to find. Further, as 'ABHoLF' plays out, it exhibits strong debts to P.K. Dick's "Ubik" and Tad Williams' 'Otherland' novels in the practical and ethical dilemmas associated with stored consciousnesses. This is a book about people, choices, values, and costs, after all.

Spinning the course of current events into such grim, near-future dystopic societies may have been too heavy-handed a background, though. The novel leans way too much at times into a schizophrenic crisis of what it's trying to tell you, and that was a weakness in the storytelling. The jumping around of perspectives, as well, softened the overall effect, making this novel somewhat less successful than the author's first ["Spaceman of Bohemia"]. Still, there's enough thought, effort, and individuality on display to make this a better-than-average novel, whether one considers it SFF or not.
… (mais)
MLShaw | 1 outra resenha | Feb 23, 2024 |
My review of this book can be found on my YouTube Vlog at:

booklover3258 | outras 24 resenhas | Feb 22, 2024 |
A book club pick ;)

Well… Where do I even start? First of all: dear book club, I am very sorry. It was my suggestion. It sounded interesting! I have no other excuse.

The writing is competent, the kind of writing that wins competitions. Unfortunately, I don’t mean it as a compliment. Yes, there are harrowing pages about Czechoslovakia under communism, Czech Republic after the Velvet revolution, generational trauma etc. There is some deadpan stuff, where the author seems to make fun of nationalism – or so I think; surely, he cannot be serious about “yeah, aren’t we a great country, please look at us” all over the book. There is a lot of love for Prague, the city comes alive in beautiful ways sometimes. But the text quickly grows extremely pretentious, quasi-philosophical, rambling, with pages and pages of musings and descriptions that go on forever and ever and ever and ever and ever, can somebody make this book end already, and ever and ever and ever, please stop…

The Czech space programme that comes out of nowhere is ridiculous. The astronaut selection and astronaut training (what we see of it, anyway) are ridiculous. The instantaneous video communication and live blogging sessions (!) when Jakub the astronaut is traveling towards Venus are ridiculous squared. We know what happens to astronauts’ bodies after months in space, and the author does talk about this – so, surviving the stuff that Jakub survives towards the end of the book
is beyond ridiculous.

Also, Jakub, with all his trauma, has no business being an astronaut. He also has no business being married to another human being. Getting Lenka’s perspective on things at the end of the book felt good: take that, you selfish idiot! I don’t mind flawed, annoying characters, as my book friends know. Just put them in better books, please.

The alien spider (or whatever the hell it was) was somewhat fun. I can understand the Nutella obsession (I don’t like it myself, but then there is chocolate). It certainly wasn’t enough to save this book.

The ending is as pretentious as the rest. I was planning on giving the book two stars. I got so annoyed while writing this, though, that it turned into my first one-star review of 2024! I need therapy after this, good book therapy.
… (mais)
Alexandra_book_life | outras 24 resenhas | Jan 13, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Barbara Heller Übersetzer
Allison Warner Cover artist


½ 3.8

Tabelas & Gráficos