Growing Wild has an elaborate composition, which is used to great effect in the build-up of excitement that reaches its climax in a dramatic denouement. The first twelve chapters describe two regularly rotating story lines, where the odd ones concentrate on a human family, the even ones on a family of wolves. This is also reflected in the chapter titles: Humans, and Wolves. The first chapter, opening with the sentence “Yesterday it was exactly two years since it happened”, lets the reader know that the tragic event in question will be described in retrospect. The author works throughout the book with parallels and reflections at various levels of the text (time, space, themes, situations, characters), and the story is often interrupted by internal monologues of the characters from the book, displaying the richness of their thoughts, emotions, memories, and connections with others.
The author presents the fascinating lives of the wolves in great detail, following these parts with poetic descriptions of natural scenes, which enables the reader to create his/her own colourful image of the changing landscape through which the wolves wander.
The lines of narration (wolves, people) intersect in the last three chapters, when the two worlds meet. Here, the author escalates the tempo of the narration by means of rapid switching from one to the other.
“Growing Wild is a novel about man face-to-face with wolf, and wolf face-to-face with man; it is also a novel about time, about gods, about God… It is a work of magic realism, in which reality and myth fade one into the other in a world of giddy depths. Told in a language of great purity, besides secrets and passion Bajaja’s novel contains a liberating humour which is often invoked by the absurdity of exaggeration. An extraordinary work!”
— Jan Schneider, MF Dnes
“Though the style of the work is economical and understated, it is not unpoetic nor does it lack the charm of the colloquial; indeed, these features serve to raise the effectiveness of the storytelling, making of the prose an extraordinary phenomenon.”
— Hugo Rak, Lidové noviny
Selected published translations (2)