Another sumptuous stylistic, linguistic and narrative feast from Petr Stančík, this time with Inspector Lavabo in the lead role.
The central character in this “spiritual” detectivesque story is the cynical inspector Libor Lavabo, who is trying to solve the case of twelve incinerated rhinoceroses and one night-watchman at a firm processing rhino horns. However, the investigation gradually expands to encompass Goethe’s secret diary, the battle between the secret societies of Neptunia and Plutonia for control of the world, the crazy Chief Inspector Marhanová and a combined interpretation of Jan Preisler’s paintings. The message will lead Lavabo into the heart of the extinct volcano of Chamber Hill in Western Bohemia. Part detective story, part conspiracy novel, and above all a fun, tongue-in-cheek and witty stylistic feast of wordplay.
“Nowadays novels mainly seem to be written by journalists testing whether this format allows them to express more than a comment or status. And Stančík is the polar opposite to them. With his novel he doesn’t want to say anything about the age or society. He just wants to have fun and entertain.”
“The noceros might be a single-horned animal that has lost its horn to poachers. But it is also the nullity in our thinking, which in these confused times is unable to rely on the certainties of yesterday, never mind hope for the future. The author doesn’t solve this problem for us. Why should he? But he relishes showing us where our shoes pinch.”
Selected published translations (1)