A Thousand Peaceful Cities

A Thousand Peaceful Cities

3.51 (187 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

If laughter actually is the best medicine, fortunate readers of this wonderful novel will surely enjoy perfect health for the rest of their days.--Kirkus Reviews

A comic gem, Jerzy Pilch's A Thousand Peaceful Cities takes place in 1963, in the latter days of the Polish post-Stalinist thaw. The narrator, Jerzyk (little Jerzy), is a teenager who is keenly interested in his father, a retired postal administrator, and his father's closest friend, Mr. Traba, a failed Lutheran clergyman, alcoholic, and would-be Polish insurrectionist. One drunken afternoon, Mr. Traba and the narrator's father decide to take charge of their lives and do one final good turn for humanity: travel to distant Warsaw and assassinate the de facto Polish head of state, First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party, Wladyslaw Gomulka--assassinating Mao Tse-tung, after all, would be impractical. And they decide to involve Jerzyk in their scheme...

Jerzy Pilch is one of Poland's most important contemporary writers and journalists. In addition to his long-running satirical newspaper column, Pilch has published several novels, and has been nominated for Poland's prestigious NIKE Literary Award four times; he finally won the Award in 2001 for The Mighty Angel. His novels have been translated into numerous languages.

David Frick is a professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 148 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 11.94mm | 205g
  • Rochester, NY, United States
  • English
  • 1934824275
  • 9781934824276
  • 784,351

Review quote

...it is the grotesquery of Pilch's buffoonery that makes A Thousand Peaceful Cities such an urbane pleasure.--Steven G. Kellman, Barnes and Nobles Review

A mind-bending romp by Polish journalist and novelist Jerzy Pilch, miraculously translated by David Frick and published this month by Open Letter.--Anne Kjellberg, Little Star

While the idea of a quixotic assassination attempt as rite of passage seems ridiculous, it offers Pilch -- a prize-winning Polish novelist and newspaper columnist -- a way to get at the absurdity of politics, the unbridgeable gap between public and private life.--David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

Jerzy Pilch, author of The Mighty Angel, has written a moving, bittersweet meditation on family, responsibility, and the passage of time.--Rebecca Oppenheimer, Howard County Times

...the unruly, wonderfully erudite, and hilariously surreal product of a boisterous imagination set loose.--Valentina Zanca, Words Without Borders

[Pilch] slashes mercilessly at the holy of holiest of his own nation. He ridicules its virtues and its shortcomings; he spares neither hero nor villain.--Sally Boss, The Sarmatian Review

With his latest, Pilch masterfully negotiates sentiment with a clear-eyed vision of his autobiographical narrator's shortcomings and disappointments, suggesting a Dubliners set in Krakow.--Publishers Weekly (starred)
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About Jerzy Pilch

Jerzy Pilch is one of Poland's most important contemporary writers and journalists. In addition to his long-running satirical newspaper column, Pilch has published several novels, and has been nominated for Poland's prestigious NIKE Literary Award four times; he finally won the Award in 2001 for The Mighty Angel. His novels have been translated into numerous languages.

David Frick is a professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Berkeley.
show more

Rating details

187 ratings
3.51 out of 5 stars
5 14% (26)
4 39% (73)
3 34% (64)
2 10% (18)
1 3% (6)
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