The grimy, crumbling world of workers’ settlements, pubs and salvage yards in 1980s Czechoslovakia, and the lively assortment of bizarre characters who inhabit it.
Young Beny leaves home to escape a violent father and finds refuge at a scrapyard run by someone they call the Fabrikant. Together with an invalid called Hany, a drifter called Julča and his brother Víťan, they form an odd kind of family in which everyone has their secrets and dark sides, as well as that Hrabalesque “pearl of the deep”. Beny needs to get out of military service, make some money, find a job and a place to live, but most of all he needs time to devote to his one passion: photography. During the “real socialism” of the early 1980s, what might seem childishly simple today was a shady, if not downright illegal adventure – especially if you were barely twenty and didn’t take anything too seriously.
“This novel about a salvage worker with a passion for photography is a compelling examination of the everyday bleakness of Normalization.”
— Czech Television
About the author:
Simona Bohatá (1965) spent her adolescence in Prague’s Žižkov district, which had a great influence on her, as did the Prague music and theatre scene of the 1980s. After graduating from a secondary school specializing in economics, she started her first job and at the same time was accepted into the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory, where she studied lyrics and scriptwriting. She has worked in various places – from a travel agency to the National Library and a number of private companies. She described her childhood and adolescence with tongue-in-cheek in the book Máňa a my druzí (Máňa and the Rest of Us, 2017). The novel Klikař Beny (Lucky Beny, 2021) loosely follows on from the successful Všichni sou trapný (Everybody Sucks, 2019).