A bestselling cult novella of Czechs in their thirties by a young Bukowski from Bohemia.This generation-defining book about growing up in a small Czech town stands out because of its excellent workmanship: the narrator’s credibility, mystery created by leaving enough unsaid, memorable characters, terse beatnik humour, brisk dialogues and a fast-paced plot. A group of teenagers tries to escape from their mundane reality through the constant, rebellious intake of drugs and alcohol, worthless provocations and hopeless attempts at music. However, it turns out that the power of a group of friends can be a destructive and a bonding element, and sometimes a reason to live. Although the novel is aimed at the author’s and the narrator’s contemporaries, its appeal is universal thanks to the timelessness of the topics with which it deals: intergenerational conflict, the search for identity and an authentic life as well as the paralysis of freedom. Whether due to a lack of will or money, it turns out the benefits of freedom are often unreachable.
Cobain’s Followers is a novel exceptional in its ability to evoke the mindset of a generation that came of age at the beginning of the new millennium and tried to imitate grunge bands with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain at the forefront, but this outstanding prose with its brash humour is far from being interesting only to younger readers.
“Cobain’s Followers bears unique witness to a generation longing to live their lives by their own rules, especially inspired by their idols. Beatnik rebelliousness radiates from it a mile off. Few writers can achieve that nowadays, although many would like to.”
—Monika Zavřelová, MF Dnes
“This text documenting a certain state of mind shifts towards a bildungsroman about growing up ‘despite society’, i.e., to a genre which has a very long tradition not only in Czech literature.”
—Pavel Janoušek, Tvar 13/2017
About the author
Miroslav Pech (b. 1986) has had various jobs (printer, shop assistant, ancillary worker, warehouse worker, editor or driver). He is the author of the collections of short stories Napíšu Pavle (I Will Write to Pavla, 2013), Ohromně vtipná videa (Very Funny Videos, 2014) and the novel Cobainovi žáci (Cobain’s Followers, 2017), which has become a bestseller. Translations of his texts have appeared on the Belarussian website litrazh.org and on the Slovenian website ludliteratura.si.