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The Miracle Game the Miracle Game [Paperback]

Josef Skvorecky

Price: £15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Jun 1992
This energetic and hilarious novel is made even more important by the current final thawing of the long, Communist winter in Czechoslovakia. The witness in 1948 to a baffling event labled by Catholic townspeople as a miracle and by the Communist Party as a fraud, cynical Czech Danny Smiricky finds himself drawn into an investigation of the event twenty years later during the 1968 Prague Spring

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The Miracle Game the Miracle Game + The Cowards (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprinted edition edition (17 Jun 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393308499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393308495
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13.6 x 3.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,369,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I lifted Saint Joseph by his brightly coloured head. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humourous tale of Czech horrors 3 Sep 2000
By Elizabeth Hendry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Skvorecky has done an interesting thing here, he has intertwined a serious story of the horrors of living in Czecheslovakia with a bawdy romp about a young oversexed man who teaches in a all girls high school. We follow Danny as he grows into an oversexed middle aged man. The story is funny and well-written for the most part. My only complaints are he jumps around in time a little too much and the translation got a little borderline obscene. All in all I enjoyed reading it and think anyone with an interest is Czech history will as well
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential modern Czech novel. 20 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the one. This novel better than any other explains the imprint left on the Czech consciousness by the Soviet invasion of August 1968, described so vividly by Skvorecky.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant account of the end of the Prague Spring 13 Oct 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Soviet invasion of August 1968 that ended the reformist Prague Spring is the key historical moment of post-1948 Czechoslovakia.
Skvorecky, through his oft-used alter ego Danny Smiricky, eloquently describes the collapse of the idealism that fuelled the reforms.
He interweaves an apparent miracle (a statue in a church moves on it own) to question the wisdom of having faith in anything beyond yourself.
Of all of Skvorecky's writings, and I have read several, this novel serves as the best introduction to modern Czech literature.
Skvorecky is lighter than Klima and Kundera, but this is not to say he shies away from the horror of communism.
His description of the invasion of Prague -- tart and sarcastic -- jolts the reader into an understanding of the deep scars on the Czech psyche.
Of course, it was the Soviet invasion that sent Skvorecky to the west, and he has written that he now feels more Canadian than Czech.
But in The Miracle Game, he reveals the depths of his affection for his country and its tortured soul.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Skvorecky's Best Work 21 May 2003
By R. Albin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is Josef Skvorecky's best novel, a fairly strong statement since much of his other work, such as the novel The Engineer of Human Souls and some of his short stories, is excellent. Like a number of his other works, this book is semi-autobiographical and covers a good slice of modern Czech history. At its core is an analysis of the false promises of Communism, which is shown to be triumphant only by a combination of repression and chicanery. Written with his usual humor and deft characterization, this is simultaneously an ironic and tragic view of modern history.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing, Tragic yet Uplifting 23 Nov 2003
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the first book I ever read by Skvorecky and it is undoubtedly the best. Two stories procede at side by side, the former (from 1948) setting up the latter (in 1968) which references the first. The religious experience of downtrodden peoples from Middle Europe was perfectly depicted - from their simple faith to their hope for a miraculous deliverence from the tyranny of communism.
By the time of the Spring Prague the nation was demoralized but had not surrendered its soul. As in every country under Soviet tyranny, people expressed their desire to be free in hundreds of ways, one of which was revolution. But the "miracle" of that spring was as elusive as the purported miracle from 20 years earlier.
What is particularly tragic is all the wasted time, effort and lives expended arguing about such an absurd philosophy as Marxism which, we should note, was hardest on the "people" to whom it gave lip service; its existence was made possible through the use of force. By the end one understands that all the dialectics and theories and promises mean nothing when compared to individual freedom or in this case, the liberation of a whole society.
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