24
Aug
08

“Rivers of Babylon” by Peter Pišt’anek

Peter Pišt’anek delivers a post-communist portrait of a still unified Czechoslovakia through country bumpkin protagonist, Rácz.

Rivers of Babylon is a dark sort of satire, with a slightly bitter taste to most of it, but it is satire, and enjoyably amusing at that. Parts are exaggerated — so also the desperation everyone shows when there’s no heat — and there’s some jarring brutality, but it all fits with Rácz’s rise from country bumpkin to nouveau-riche magnate, as he stomps his way to the top without ever becoming more refined. It’s a wry picture of the new eastern Europe, often too close for comfort even in its absurder twists, and it’s an entertaining read.

Read the entire review here

An interview with Peter Pišt’anek, and the 1998 Rivers of Babylon film trailer here.

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