on 18 May 2012
Judge Adam Kindl was born into a non-practicing Jewish family in pre-WW2 Czechoslovakia. The family had a stong committment to building a better socialist society with a number of them paying the ultimate price. Due to this background he is interned in a children's detention camp throughout the war. He realises he is lucky to survive when many of his friends did not.
Following the defeat of the Nazis, Adam plays an active role in the building of Communism but as time goes on his faith in the system is brought into question and he becomes increasingly disillusioned. Only the 1968 Prague Spring brings a brief respite.
This is a story of disillusionment and disappointment. As his belief system crumbles, so also does his family life, both to go hand in hand.
The main solutions are a retreat into personal introversion or seeking consolation in religion. Both may help sustain the main characters through their individual crises but will hardly solve the underlying causes of their unhappiness. While the main characters retreat from social engagement, others maintain their resilience and confidence in being able to achieve change. And their day was to come.....
This mood of the book is gloomy and the style reflects this. Nonetheless it is an excellent and credible story which uses uncertaintly to retain interest to the end.
on 5 June 2003
Shows how the noble ideas of justice and truth can be, and are, perverted by a system which turns upon its people, where the role of criminal and victim, innocent and guilty are reveresed. A warning against false hope, be it in politics, work or love. Klima's best work (try also My Golden Trades, and Love & Garbage)