Revenge of Underwater Man and other stories

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University of Notre Dame Press, 2000 - Fiction - 123 pages
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Memorable, haunting characters in memorable, haunting locales fill the pages of Jaroslav Cervenka's award-winning collection of stories. Cervenka takes us from Chocu, the remotest jungle region of Colombia, to the infamous site of the Golden Triangle in Thailand, stopping along the way in Prague's Lesser Town, the island of Gore off the coast of Dakar, a village bar in Kamikawa, heaven, and Minneapolis.These stories are populated with well-meaning characters like Jindra, who disappears up the river in Papua, New Guinea, towards "bad rapids and hostile folks who stick to some of the old, unpleasant dietary traditions, " and the Bavarian professor who enjoys an idyllic, academic life, yet yearns to "disappear to some malarian hole at the edge of a jungle, with sauna-like heat and humidity, about as healthy as a hospital sewer, under a leaden sky that pours five meters of water per year on the palm-fronded roofs of some sorry shack sticking out of a permanent mudpie." Cervenka's characters are imperfect specimens of humanity, politically and otherwise incorrect, and his effortless revelation of their kindness leaves the reader cautiously optimistic and fully entertained.The Revenge of Underwater Man speaks to the optimist and adventurer in us all. This collection is edgy, erudite, irreverent, and funny -- a rewarding read for those who treasure the true and the exceptional.

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