A fantastical and linguistically opulent post-historical detective novel from the second half of the 19th century. Prague changes into a large city, the national revival is complete, social life flourishes including its dark side. Superintendent Durman, a quirky detective, investigates serial murders while enjoying all the joys and delights available. A mystery story with a steampunk touch which is also about love and food and is supported by knowledge of facts from many disciplines, the objective of tracing the murderer is not as important as the author’s narrative cogency and greed. Using several levels of plot and meaning which mirror each other, Stančík narrates a story whose central theme is the relativity of punishment and the way it is carried out. The original Czech edition won the 2015 Magnesia Litera Award for prose.
More information in Polish on the publisher’s website.
“Stančík is simply enjoying himself. His novel is the kind of book that you want to take everywhere and quote enthusiastically from at every opportunity.”
— Boris Hokr, Aktualne.cz
“A very readable story about the hunt for a serial killer set against the backdrop of old Prague”
— Magnesia Litera jury
“The attraction of this novel lies in the ‘incorrect’ humor and ingenuity with which the author mocks historical narratives.”
— Ondřej Nezbeda, Respekt
Information about the original Czech edition
Other selected published translations (2)
El molino de momias Spanish