Today we know that Chaim Cigan is the pseudonym of author and rabbi Karol Sidon. However when Altschulova metoda (Altschul’s Method), the first book to be published under this ambiguous name, came out in 2014, the search for his true identity became a major topic in the Czech literary world. While the aforementioned Altschul’s Method is part of an extensive tetralogy, Little Mr Talisman has a much more modest length. At the same time it retains all the features which make Cigan one of the most compelling contemporary Czech authors: fairytales for adults, neo-mythical stories, the supernatural, pop culture… Little Mr Talisman, with the help of a magic prayer shawl and prayer straps, is able to fly and help people who are unable to help themselves. You will find out a good deal about the Jewish faith, Jewish customs and Jewish mysticism and be reminded that things can often appear to be quite different from how they actually are, that good deeds do not always have to turn out well, and that it is better to look at everything from several perspectives.
“Unlike pre-war Jewish folklore, preserved thanks to many excellent writers, Little Mr Talisman is undeniably contemporary.”
— Marek Toman, MF Dnes
“Jews also have their superhero who helps them in times of need. And it’s not golem. It’s Mr Talisman. (…) The informal approach and understanding of minor everyday troubles, whose nature is generally tragicomical, resembles Karel Čapek’s storybooks.”
— Pavel Mandys, Hospodářské noviny