Václav Vokolek (b. 1947) is a novelist, journalist and artist. After leaving his university studies unfinished, he worked as the caretaker of a stately home, a museum worker and later a restorer. Until 1989 he refused to publish. After November 1989, he sat on various literary boards, ran the journal Souvislosti and was involved in founding the Triáda publishing house; since 1995 he has taught at the College of Journalism in Prague. He is the author of more than fifty books; he writes prose, poetry, children’s books and scholarship. Wrecked Marble (1996) is a collection of poetry works from 1971–1994; the novels Journey to Hell (1999) and The Domino Effect (2018) are part of the planned triptych called A Landscape of Memories (2000). His scholarship includes seven volumes focused on the sacred sites of his homeland, Unknown Bohemia (2009); the essays Exile and Shelters in the Czech Landscape (2006); and collection of Czech oral legends and folklore, The Czech Year (2011). He is a regular contributor to Radio Vltava (programmes about Czech culture and literature). His work as an editor includes the literary estate of his father, Vladimír Vokolek, and the cultural history of Czechia from a spiritual point of view. He also devotes his time to artwork. Vokolek lives in Milovice.
October 2018, 598 pages
Available material: English sample
A literary fresco; a journey through history.
A large-scale, opulent and sweeping novelistic sketch; a work rich in a genre, subject matter, style and language. The author’s latest novel loosely continues his 20-year-old prose work Cesta do pekel (Journey to Hell). Both works blend together timelines, fiction and dreams, Satan in various guises, humour and tragedy. The Domino Effect is a rich feast of thematic, linguistic and stylistic positions, time zones and fates that can intersect at any point in the past, present and future, forming a unified whole.
“An excellent and surprisingly thrilling novel set across time periods which together make up a tale of secret forces that shape history and the smallest human stories. One big plus is the beautiful language, which elevates the form of the novel to a higher level.”