A multifaceted work that mixes and mashes together a variety of genres and styles to create a heady concoction of crime story, horror story, ecological revenge fantasy, and Siberian shamanism. Nothing is what it seems. What appears to be human is actually a shell occupied by an alien spirit, or demon, and what appears to be an unassuming plant is an aggressive parasite that harbors a poisonous substance within, or manifests itself as an assassin, a phantom with no real substance who pursues his victims across Europe and through a post-apocalyptic Prague ravaged by floods. The blind see, and the seeing are blind. Plants behave like animals, and animals are symbionts with plants. Through these devices, Šindelka weaves a tale of three childhood friends, the errant paths their lives take, and the world of rare plant smuggling — and the consequences of taking the wrong plant — to show the rickety foundation of illusions on which our relationship to the environment, and to one another, rests. It is a world of aberrations, anomalies, and mistakes.
More information on the publisher’s website.
“Think Orlean’s The Orchid Thief on acid. It’s all kinds of funky […] Šindelka’s world of ‘aberrations, anomalies, and mistakes’ feels unnervingly timely, and is enormously fun in the bargain”
—M. Bartley Seigel, Words without Borders
“The plant world constitutes a specific milieu in the novel and recalls [Michal] Ajvaz’s The Other City, which is visible only to those who wish to see it”
—Petr Vaněk, iLiteratura
“Aberrant by Marek Šindelka is a brilliantly written and ingeniously constructed novel […] when finished the reader is left with a liberating feeling of catharsis befitting the dramas of antiquity and medieval legends.”
— Czech Radio
Information about the original Czech edition
Other selected published translations (5)
Der Fehler German