This wide-ranging novel by the leading Czech writer is a symphony of narrative playfulness as well as a homage to traditional storytelling.
Cities is made up of several novels in one book, linked by a narrator who sets out on a classic trip around the world in search of knowledge. While looking for a mysterious machine component containing a flash drive whose contents are unknown, he visits nine countries and cities: from Sweden via Ireland, France, the USA and Japan to Poland. During his adventures he participates in, or learns of, a number of immersive stories, constructed as separate novels: romance, fantasy, thriller and action. The book is a synthesis of all of Ajvaz’s prose work, philosophy, unique sense of humour, favourite narrative approaches and sources of literary inspiration, as well as a homage to narrative traditions. It is also the third and final work in an original trilogy of novels using postmodern techniques.
“[The author] has convinced us that he is a master at mixing genres, particularly the high with the low or even trashy – or better still, he is a master at blurring their borders and upsetting their hierarchy.”
— Czech Radio Vltava
“Cities defies clear interpretation; it flows like a dream, yet at the same time it has been precisely planned out.”