Sabrina Black’s Box

May 2002, 292 pages

Hakl’s first novel. Despite the title it is not merely about genitals and sex, but also about ‘the transformation of domestic reality’ that has taken place in the last few years. The stormily narrated story of the main hero is drafted like a mosaic of short, interconnected and unforgettable stories about idle friendship and even more idle love, about the quest for a tiny bit of independence amidst a time that rapidly loses its content as well as its limits. The main part of the book takes place in the Prague quarter of Letná, where the main hero, hoping to finally escape from the grind, starts his own business. The narrative style, mixing black humour with pure desperation, mockery with resignation (which is so characteristic for the writer) adds a flowing rhythm to the book. One has to read this novel about life and death (and life after death and death after life) in one and the same breath.