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Gargling with Tar [Paperback]

Jachym Topol , David Short
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: £8.99
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Paperback, 6 Jun 2013 £8.03  

Book Description

6 Jun 2013
Czechoslovakia, 1968. The Soviet troops have just invaded and, for the young orphan Ilya, life is suddenly turned on its head. At first there is relief that the mean-spirited nuns who ran his orphanage have been driven out by the Red Army, but as the children are left to fend for themselves, order and routine quickly give way to brutality and chaos, and Ilya finds himself drawn into the violence. When the troops return, the orphans are given military training and, with his first-hand knowledge of the local terrain, Ilya becomes guide to a Soviet tank battalion. A position which leads him ever deeper into a macabre world of random cruelty, moral compromise and lasting shame.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd; Reprint edition (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846271622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846271625
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 11.9 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,498,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Gargling with Tar is a crashing, free-wheeling tank ride of a book... Few Czech novelists have tackled 1968 head-on. Topol does so with bracing irreverence as well as pity - Maya Jaggi, " Independent" Topol is seen by critics and readers as the definitive writer of the post-Communism era in Prague, as a voice of transition from Marx to market - Boyd Tonkin, "Independent" Topol writes sincerely, passionately - Cees Nooteboom A rich satire that lashes out at a number of targets - " Big Issue" Gargling with Tar is a Czech Tin Drum set during the crushing of the Prague Spring of Topol's boyhood - "Guardian"

About the Author

JACHYM TOPOL is an award-winning writer, famous in his youth as a samizdat poet and songwriter, and now for writing books that have successfully and imaginatively captured the dislocation brought about by the fall of Communism. His novels include Nightwork and The Devil's Workshop, which will also be published by Portobello.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Indigestible 7 May 2013
Format:Paperback
A satire on the Prague Spring of 1968. It is impossibly obscure, unless you are really knowledgeable about the country and the period. Sometimes satire works even when the allusions are obscure, because there is still a good story being told. Gargling with Tar is either bizarre or surreal - take your pick. I still can`t figure what the title means, never mind the book. I reached the end but might just as well have had a copy in Czech,of which I know not a word. Explanatory notes might have helped.
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