Rules of Ridiculous Behaviour

April 2010, 137 pages

Foreign editions: Netherlands (Voetnoot), Bulgaria (Perseus), Austria (Braumüller), Sweden (Aspekt), Poland (Afera), Belarus (Lohvinau), Serbia (Akademska knjiga)

This book freely draws on the author’s most successful work to date – Of Kids & Parents. The narrator recounts the private chronicles of his life in three stories. First, he tries out paragliding with two rather whimsical strangers and ends up confronting his own past in a state of helpless suspension. The most compelling, unadulterated nexus of this trilogy arrives with bidding farewell to his father and the father’s subsequent death. Towards the end of the story, the narrator embarks on a journey to the Danube Delta, a figurative attempt at self-discovery. Even in the most dismal situation, Hakl’s hero manages to keep calm, employing language and his own memory with a bravado not dissimilar to that of Hrabal’s Hanta. He is modern, and thus rougher when asserting, through self-deprecating comments and metaphors, what both losers and winners strive to achieve, namely: show off their lives like wind-up-toy chickens – twist the key and watch how they peck…

Josef Škvorecký Award

Best Book of the Year (2010)

Download French sample