The “ A Guide to Broken Roads “ manuscript is a seamless blend of autobiography and magical realism, tales dove tailing into tales, marking the passage of a young boy into adulthood where the background crackle of both Central European and South African history cast shadows across his path.
I as the narrator am the innocent that has an extraordinary relationship with a witchy woman, my gnarled stick of an adopted “Aunt”. It is through her tales that I learn about unrequited love, of the nature of good and evil and of course, in a sly way of sex. The book has two parts, with a small interphase.
Part one is set in Central Europe. There we hear tales of the crucified frogs and of the magical golden carp, Russian and German invasions.
The legend of the battle between Luck and Wisdom for a young man’s mind and soul. We learn of a King’s challenge and of the corpses and crows that greet the visitors at the castle walls.
We read of the sad tale of the grandfather who walked back home after WW1, to discover that he was more lost at home, than in the trenches.
We read of how the vampirical femme fatale ruined a good man.
Part 2 sees circumstance catapulting the young man and his family into an unnamed yet obviously South African environment in the 70’s, and the communication between magical aunt and the body takes place in the form of stories recounted through letters.
Father tells the tale of the girl on the swing, and of the Golden Carp.
Here we discover boyish cruelty and national myopia. An exploding pig, voyeurism, a man in the back of the van, curfews and tragic, ghostly first love lubricate the pages.
The Aunt and I exchange stories of desire and she tells me the tale of the broken winged goose that waits for her mate to appear from the South each year.
She tells me the tale of the Goral, the reclusive painter who is manipulated and damned by his both his patron and his own obsession for purity. There is a curse that comes to fruition, and then there finally is a boy going to join the brown uniformed ranks in a race war.
“Magical realism, fiery allegories and more than a hint of black
Humor.Cruelty and beauty in a dark tango. Tales within tales creating
a shiny bloody crystal of a book. Witchy women, exploding pigs,
Crucified frogs and roosters aplenty share the stage on these
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born in former Czechoslovakia, under under Communism, escaped to Austria with his Mother , Father and a small daschund.
Emigrated to South Africa where he became nationalized, westernized and militarized, under Apartheid.
Qualified as a biochemist / food technologist, but started to delve into dark humorous satirical story writing.
HE is now the owner /editor of the cult SA ARTS DIARY annual publication.
Deeply influenced by Angela Carter, J.P Donleavy, Marquis De Sade and Voltaire, the stories were well received by various publishers, such as Minerva Press U.K and Strangelove S.A.
Guide to Broken Roads is my first novel.