November 2003, 280 pages
Available material: English sample
Foreign editions: Germany (Deutscher Taschenbuch), The Netherlands (Voetnoot), Bulgaria (Colibri), Poland (Proszynski), Spain (Ediciones B), Hungary (Kalligram)
The author calls this book, which takes place in around the Prague cathedral, “The Divine Black Comedy.” Urban uses features of the crime, horror and suspense genres to tell this original story that goes much deeper than a murder mystery. The book presents beauty seen through the eye. Often that is the aesthetical value of an act of cruelty: a terrifying combination. Urban juggles with different registers and shifting narrators. The most erudite of readers will enjoy the allusions in the text and book’s multiple layers; those looking simply for a fun read will enjoy the genre-aspects, the pace and the tone.
“Reading The Shadow of the Cathedral is a feast. Straight from the first sentence until the very end. To be recommended.”