A modern ballad about human destiny and the animal in each of us
Strange accidents and unnerving incidents in the Czech countryside. A village novel you will want to read in the safe embrace of the city.
Husband and wife Bohumil and Bohumila, together with their mentally disabled son, move from Prague to a small village in the borderlands to work out their marital crisis. In the searing summer heat, they try to fit in among the locals; at first, they blame small misunderstandings on their own strangeness and lack of capacity to understand the social codes of the village. The sense of danger grows, though, as the lies, small and big, the “accidents” and the unnerving incidents all start piling up. They suspect that each night, a large animal wanders around their cottage at the bottom of a ravine, an impression that oddly corresponds to the mysterious flyers they keep finding in the local watering hole, regarding a wolfen fairytale. One night, Bohumil and Bohumila come home to find the house empty: their son is gone. The series of uncanny events culminates on the third day after the boy’s disappearance when all the villagers gather outside the couple’s cottage in festive costumes. Did the local country bumpkins’ bizarre game turn into some perverse, modern folklore ritual? Are the lives of Bohumil and Bohumila in danger? And what has happened to their son?
France (Editions du Seuil), Poland (Afera), USA (Catapult)