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.