Commies, Crooks, Gypsies, Spooks & Poets

Jan Novak, Author
Jan Novak, Author Steerforth Press $22 (0p) ISBN 978-1-883642-09-9
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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Prague, when Novak got there in July 1992, was aswarm with pickpockets, drug addicts, bohemian Americans and returning Czech emigres like himself. Speculators, real estate sharpies, advertising gurus, porno pushers and ministers with blatant conflicts of interest were making fortunes. Stressed out by the end of communism, Prague residents coped with bureaucracy, corruption and a head-lice epidemic while ferreting out ``spooks'' (former state security agents) and plainclothes informers. Novak, a Chicago-based American novelist, was born in Czechoslovakia in 1953 and spent his first 16 years there. The recent year he spent in Prague with his Czech-born wife and their two children yielded this pungent, irreverent look at a society struggling toward rebirth. (May)
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