Miroslav Pech (b. 1986) has had various jobs (printer, shop assistant, ancillary worker, warehouse worker, editor and driver). He is the author of the collections of short stories Napíšu Pavle (I Will Write to Pavla, 2013), Ohromně vtipná videa (Very Funny Videos, 2014), Američané jedí kaktusy (The Americans eat cactuses, 2017). The novel Cobainovi žáci (Cobain’s Disciples, 2017), has become a bestseller. His newest published work in Czech Republic and in Poland is a horror called Mainstream.
March 2017, 200 pages
Available material: English sample, German sample
Foreign editions: Poland (Stara szkola)
A young Bohemian Bukowski writes the testimony of his generation.
The novel Cobain’s Disciples by the young author Miroslav Pech is a novel about a “lost generation for the 21st century.” In four parts it describes early childhood, school years, puberty and finally the growth into adulthood of the hero, an “ordinary boy” from a small town. If you thought that life would be rosy, with unlimited possibilities for the youth after the fall of communism, you’re way off the mark. A group of teenagers tries to escape their mundane reality through the constant, rebellious intake of drugs and alcohol, worthless provocations and hopeless attempts at music. However, it turns out that the destructive power of this group of friends can be a bonding element and a reason to live. Although the novel is aimed at the author’s and the narrator’s contemporaries, its appeal is universal thanks to the timelessness of the topics with which it deals: intergenerational conflict, the search for identity and an authentic life as well as the paralysis of freedom. Whether due to a lack of will or money, it turns out the benefits of freedom are often unreachable. What makes Pech’s novel such a treasure is its precise ear for language, the elegant feeling for dialogue and sense of humour (often gallows humour). Put on some Nirvana, light up a joint and crack the book.
“I have lived his novella. Or in other words: what I have lived has been set down on paper by Miroslav Pech.”
“Cobain’s Disciples bears unique witness to a generation longing to live their lives by their own rules, especially inspired by their idols. Beatnik rebelliousness radiates from it a mile off. Few writers can achieve that nowadays, although many would like to.”
“The next day is exactly the same: books, guitar, cigarette, books, cigarette, cigarette. Lying on the table are the untouched tea bags and hot dogs. There’s a fruit jar, but now it’s filled with ashes and cigarette butts. For the moment, I just huddle under the comforter and stare into space… A song starts forming. I jot down the individual words and sentences on a piece of paper. It’s all about me running away. I’m sitting in a cottage in the middle of the icy countryside. A strange creature comes out at night. I don’t know what it looks like because every time I hear it quietly approaching, I bury myself under the covers and hold my breath. I actually don’t know if it’s about a monster or just someone who’s lost. That’s how the lyrics should be, really—uncertain, uncomfortable, anxious. The music should be quiet and murky… can music be murky?”