Karol Efraim Sidon

Altschul's Method

Altschulova metoda
Altschulova metoda
Torst, 2014, 480 pp
Language: Czech
Genre: Literary fiction, Prose, Science fiction
ISBN: 9788072154685
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Altschulova metoda, the first part of the forthcoming tetralogy, supposedly by Chaim Cigan, entitled Kde lišky dávají dobrou noc (Out in the Sticks), might well have the external form of a political and psychological thriller, but readers will find much more than that. In this gripping, brilliantly written story spread over various countries, continents, historical epochs and alternative worlds the author confronts the reader with the consequences of postmodern technology developed in the future from the medieval Kabbala. In masterly fashion the author highlights the Middle Ages, Jewish thinking, culture and history from surprising angles.

What we perceive in the first part to be a reality close to us, full of references to our historical experience from the end of the normalization era and the transformation to a somewhat better world, is absurdly distorted in places with gentle irony. The Jewish heroes of the book are enormously vivid, comic and plausible in their endeavours and opportunities, as well as in their lack of heroism, which is all too familiar to us. Cigan‘s very readable book, which will captivate those interested in centuries-old Jewish culture and thinking, as well as lovers of spellbinding fiction, is imbued with humour, playfulness and existential depth.

Chaim Cigan was supposedly born in 1940 in Smolenice, Slovakia and graduated from the Mining College at Kežmarok. Between 1966 and 1972 he worked in Prague as an executive at the Ministry of Heavy Engineering. From 1983 he lived in Canada, where he died at the age of 52 on the eve of Rosh Hashanah 5753.

In fact this is a fictitious biography, as it has been revealed that the true author is Rabbi Karol Sidon.


“[Altschul’s Method] blends the Middle Ages, Judaism, Moses and the secret police, the journeys of souls, prison cells and trips back in time. Something between a monstrous construction by China Mieville and a conspiracy theory arising from Kabbalah.”

—Klára Kubíčková, MF Dnes

Language: Czech
Title: Altschulova metoda
Place: Praha
Publisher: Torst
Year: 2014
Pages: 480
Genre: Literary fiction, Prose, Science fiction