Spaceman of Bohemia

Spaceman of Bohemia

Book - 2017
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"When Jakub Procha is sent into space to examine a cosmic dust cloud covering Venus, it may be a solo suicide mission. Dreaming of becoming a national hero and desperate to atone for his father's sins as a Communist informer, he leaves his beloved wife behind and launches into the galaxy. But things aboard spaceship JanHus1 quickly turn weird, and, to make matters worse, he soon learns that his wife has disappeared without a trace back on Earth. As his spaceship hurtles toward an unknown danger and his sanity wavers, Jakub encounters an unlikely fellow passenger -- a giant alien spider. He and his strange arachnid companion form an unlikely bond over late-night refrigerator encounters, where they talk philosophy, love, life, death, and the incomprehensible deliciousness of bacon. But when their mission is thrown into crisis by secret Russian rivals, Jakub is forced to make violent decisions -- recalling the tortured past and dark political heritage he's buried -- in a desperate quest to return to his Earthly life. Packed with nail-biting thrills, exuberant heart, and surprising and absurd humor in the lineage of Kafka and Vonnegut, Spaceman of Bohemia offers an extraordinary vision of the endless human capacity to persist -- and risk everything -- in the name of love and home"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316273435
0316273430
Characteristics: 276 pages ; 25 cm

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HappyPuffin Oct 29, 2017

One of the best new books/authors of 2017. The story was compelling, humorous and touching.

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fred98115
Sep 12, 2017

A Czech astronaut with a troubled past is picked for a solo mission investigating a glowing cloud between Earth and Venus. His country believes, falsely, that he dies and they make him a hero and he loses his identity and family. Visualizing a spider while on the journey, he has philosophical conversations with the creature that may be real or imaginary. Less than satisfying ending to the story.

j
JohnHy
Aug 16, 2017

I enjoyed this book. Insights into Czech history and culture, an imaginary (or is it real) alien spider. I look forward to more books by this author.

p
peachmcd
Jul 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this 'literary sci-fi' novel. Very creative story arc takes on a number of issues with a deft touch and great (very European) sense of humor. It's fun for me to read books written by people who are happy in and proud of their culture without being chauvinistic about it - it gives me hope that this might be possible for Americans someday.
I will say that the ending has trouble wrapping up the package as beautifully as the package might deserve, but given the amount of amazing and ground-breaking stuff in that package, I didn't fault this young author for being unable to rise to the challenge. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed Hitchhiker's Guide &/or Kurt Vonnegut. I look forward to more from this writer!

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suzysushi
May 17, 2018

Awesome first novel by an immigrant Czech writer about a professor who is sent on a one-man space mission. Filled with satire and poignancy, this sci-fi with a twist story is written in the first person with musings on culture (and food and alcohol!), family, Czechoslovakia's turbulent history, politicians, and corruption, love, loneliness, sanity and insanity, alien life forms, and ultimately what it means to be human.

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