January 2001, 400 pages
Available material: English sample
Rights sold: Ukraine (Czech centre)
A novel that can be read in several ways. The first is through an ecological lens. Ecology is a political issue and the protagonist can be viewed as an eco-hardliner, even an eco-terrorist. This plays out in the second half of the novel, which takes place in the present. However the first part is very different, it takes us back to the 19th century, where the hero deals with the problem of human love — he, a dangerous being from fairy tales, falls in love with a beautiful village girl. Nature is still in unity with mankind, but the beast in the hero seeks to find this unity in himself. That is very hard, because his essential natural drive is to kill humans and steal their souls in compensation to his doubt of having a soul of his own.
The novel is in the tradition of romantic stories such as The Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and so on. The hero is used to sexual urges and knows how to satisfy them, but love is something new to him, and he feels it could be destructive to his bestial nature — his own true self.
A film based on the book was released in 2018.