Spaceman of Bohemia

Spaceman of Bohemia

3.83 (3,691 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Description

An intergalactic odyssey of love, ambition, and self-discovery.

Orphaned as a boy, raised in the Czech countryside by his doting grandparents, Jakub Prochv°zka has risen from small-time scientist to become the country's first astronaut. When a dangerous solo mission to Venus offers him both the chance at heroism he's dreamt of, and a way to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he ventures boldly into the vast unknown. But in so doing, he leaves behind his devoted wife, Lenka, whose love, he realizes too late, he has sacrificed on the altar of his ambitions.

Alone in Deep Space, Jakub discovers a possibly imaginary giant alien spider, who becomes his unlikely companion. Over philosophical conversations about the nature of love, life and death, and the deliciousness of bacon, the pair form an intense and emotional bond. Will it be enough to see Jakub through a clash with secret Russian rivals and return him safely to Earth for a second chance with Lenka?

Rich with warmth and suspense and surprise, Spaceman of Bohemia is an exuberant delight from start to finish. Very seldom has a novel this profound taken readers on a journey of such boundless entertainment and sheer fun.

"A frenetically imaginative first effort, booming with vitality and originality . . . Kalfar's voice is distinct enough to leave tread marks." --Jennifer Senior, New York Times
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 137 x 206 x 23mm | 277g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0316273449
  • 9780316273442
  • 547,870

Review quote

"Blend Bradbury and Lem with Saint-Exupéry and perhaps a little Kafka, and you get this talky, pleasing first novel by Czech immigrant writer Kalfar....a book built on sly, decidedly contrarian humor. Blending subtle asides on Czech history, the Cold War, and today's wobbly democracy, Kalfar's confection is an inventive, well-paced exercise in speculative fiction. An entertaining, provocative addition to the spate of literary near-future novels that have lately hit the shelves."
--Kirkus Reviews
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About Jaroslav Kalfar

Jaroslav Kalfar was born and raised in Prague, Czech Republic, and immigrated to the United States at the age of fifteen. He earned an MFA at New York University, where he was a Goldwater Fellow and a nominee for the inaugural E. L. Doctorow Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn. Spaceman of Bohemia is his first novel.
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Rating details

3,691 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 25% (929)
4 42% (1,547)
3 25% (922)
2 6% (231)
1 2% (62)
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