Jaroslav Rudiš

National Avenue

Národní třída
Národní třída
Labyrint, 2013, 152 pp
Language: Czech
Genre: Literary fiction
ISBN: 9788087260555
Read an excerpt
W: http://rudis.cz/
E: jararudis@centrum.cz
Goodreads rating
73.6% (Rated by 754 users)

A novella on a typical Czech topic: a little man. The story is in three chords. An escalating plot, an engrossing narrative pace – and a finale that is, in its tragedy, actually funny. Short, simple sentences, brief paragraphs, the format of prose in verse. The main role is played by Vandam, an ageing pub brawler whose life is reduced to false mantras and empty rituals. He likes to lecture others, particularly about things he himself does not know much about. He is a prisoner of numerous stereotypes inherited from his own family. If he wants to escape from this form of captivity, he betrays both others and himself. However, Jaroslav Rudiš is merciful to him he portrays him sensitively and shows some understanding for his failure. Also, Vandam belongs to Rudiš’s gallery of runaways escaping their own shadows, outsiders and outlaws. Although National Avenue is a thoroughly dark and hopeless novella, at heart it is true, serious and topical.


National Avenue is an unrestrained, funny, brash, melancholic and brutal novel. […] Jaroslav Rudiš has written an excellent novel, which would also be perfect for a theatre adaptation.”

— Lerke von Saalfeld, Deutschlandfunk

“It is also a book about Europe today, a brilliant book, a very topical book.”

— Markus Lippold, n-tv.de

“When reading the book one experiences two extreme feelings: disgust and enthusiasm. The first is caused by the value system of the main character, his lifestyle and the space in which the plot of the novella is set. The second by the brilliance with which Rudiš captures it, the documentary-like way in which he described the wretchedness.”

— Klára Kubíčková, MF DNES

Selected published translations (6)

Nationalstraße German

Aleja Narodowa Polish

Avenida Nacional Spanish

Avenue Nationale French

Nemzeti sugárút Hungarian

Het volk boven Dutch

Language: Czech
Title: Národní třída
Place: Praha
Publisher: Labyrint
Year: 2013
Pages: 152
Genre: Literary fiction