Spaceman of Bohemia

Spaceman of Bohemia

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition.
Average Rating:
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"A frenetically imaginative first effort, booming with vitality and originality . . . Kalfar's voice is distinct enough to leave tread marks."-Jennifer Senior, New York Times

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Best New Fiction -- Wall Street Journal
New Books We Recommend -- New York Times

An intergalactic odyssey of love, ambition, and self-discovery

Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Proch#65533;zka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country's first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he's dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Rich with warmth and suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish. Very seldom has a novel this profound taken readers on a journey of such boundless entertainment and sheer fun.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316273435
Branch Call Number: FIC Kalfa
Characteristics: 276 pages ; 25 cm

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HappyPuffin Oct 29, 2017

One of the best new books/authors of 2017. The story was compelling, humorous and touching.

f
fred98115
Sep 12, 2017

A Czech astronaut with a troubled past is picked for a solo mission investigating a glowing cloud between Earth and Venus. His country believes, falsely, that he dies and they make him a hero and he loses his identity and family. Visualizing a spider while on the journey, he has philosophical conversations with the creature that may be real or imaginary. Less than satisfying ending to the story.

j
JohnHy
Aug 16, 2017

I enjoyed this book. Insights into Czech history and culture, an imaginary (or is it real) alien spider. I look forward to more books by this author.

p
peachmcd
Jul 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this 'literary sci-fi' novel. Very creative story arc takes on a number of issues with a deft touch and great (very European) sense of humor. It's fun for me to read books written by people who are happy in and proud of their culture without being chauvinistic about it - it gives me hope that this might be possible for Americans someday.
I will say that the ending has trouble wrapping up the package as beautifully as the package might deserve, but given the amount of amazing and ground-breaking stuff in that package, I didn't fault this young author for being unable to rise to the challenge. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed Hitchhiker's Guide &/or Kurt Vonnegut. I look forward to more from this writer!

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