☉ Spaceman of Bohemia PDF / Epub ❤ Author Jaroslav Kalfar – Lucywhitedrycleaners.co.uk

Spaceman of Bohemia With JanHus1lie our hopes of new sovereignty and prosperity, for we are now among the explorers of the universe We look away from our past, in which we were claimed by others, in which our language was nearly eradicated, in which Europe covered its eyes and ears as its very heart was stolen and brutalized It is not only our science and technology traveling through this vacuum it is our humanity, in the form of Jakub Proch zka, the first spaceman of Bohemia, who will carry the soul of the rep With JanHus1lie our hopes of new sovereignty and prosperity, for we are now among the explorers of the universe We look away from our past, in which we were claimed by others, in which our language was nearly eradicated, in which Europe covered its eyes and ears as its very heart was stolen and brutalized It is not only our science and technology traveling through this vacuum it is our humanity, in the form of Jakub Proch zka, the first spaceman of Bohemia, who will carry the soul of the republic to the stars Today, we finally and absolutely claim ourselves for our own.Spaceman of Bohemia can beor less broken into two parts In the first half, we meet Jakub Proch zka the Czech Republic s first astronaut as he makes a four month spaceflight towards a storm of cosmic dust that has been captured by Venus gravity forming a ring around that planet and purpling the night skies on Earth Although his preflight psychologist had warned Jakub of the probability of hallucinations brought on by the stress of a solo voyage , when a giant arachnid alien appears aboard the space shuttle, Jakub keeps its existence a secret from Control and assents to the being probing his mind and memories for an understanding of humanry This device worked really well to share not only Jakub s history, but that of his homeland too the granting of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in the 30s in an effort to avoid WWII the West s abandonment of the country to the Soviet Union the bloodless Velvet Revolution that suddenly saw the local Party elite finding themselves on the wrong side of history all of this played out within the story of Jakub s own family and I was totally immersed in the storyline And then events happen and the book becomes something else at the risk of spoiling anything, I do want to note that Jakub s experience from this point echoes that of Jan Hus the medieval Czech priest philosopher for whom his spacecraft was named is that clever or too obvious, especially when spelled out for us This second half wasn t bad really, but I was no longer so engrossed Wasn t all life a form of phantom being, given its involuntary origin in the womb No one could guarantee a happy life, a safe life, a life free of violations, external or eternal Yet we exited birth canals at unsustainable speeds, eager to live, floating away to Mars at the mercy of Spartan technology or living simpler lives on Earth at the mercy of chance We lived regardless of who observed us, who recorded us, who cared where we wentI didn t flip to the author bio until I reached this second half, and when I saw that Jaroslav Kalfa has a hipster beard and an MFA and is living and writing in Brooklyn, that suddenly made sense and I ll say here again that I m not generally a fan of hipster bearded, Brooklyn based writers with MFAs Spaceman employs the same brand of energy draining satire I dislike from, say, Gary Shteyngart On the other hand, it was interesting to read that Kalfa was born and raised in Prague, relocating to the US at fifteen So, putting aside all the efforts at philosophy and the exploration of humanry that didn t really resonate with me, I thought that Spaceman did a wonderful job of exploring the Czech experience rural peasant life and urban yuppidom years of living under totalitarian control and now striving for Capitalist decadence the pride of a people who honour the great personages in their past and yearn to see the birth of a modern legend all that I learned about the Czech people was worth the entire less than fulfilling reading experience I found this book quite refreshing, it was the small things I love the added flavor of all the brands he mentions, the walks around the city, the true rural country side stories I know the racket there is every time someone slaughters a pig, but with the knife , the bullshit you had to deal with during socialism and other million small thing that you just don t get in American novels The first half of the book was brilliant Author used the wast distance of space to ask a lot of important qu I found this book quite refreshing, it was the small things I love the added flavor of all the brands he mentions, the walks around the city, the true rural country side stories I know the racket there is every time someone slaughters a pig, but with the knife , the bullshit you had to deal with during socialism and other million small thing that you just don t get in American novels The first half of the book was brilliant Author used the wast distance of space to ask a lot of important questions about ourselves, such as our humanity, loneliness, madness, what makes a life worth living, social contracts, changing societal norms, freedom, inherited guilt and national identity Oh and there might or might not be a First contact situation going on.Unfortunately the second half of the book briefly turns into a sci fi, spy thriller that just yanked me out of the story and it still makes me unsure of my rating for this book the rating has changed a few times and will change a few times A Proud Nation Witnesses Jakub Proch Zka S Ascent As He Launches Skyward From A State Owned Potato Field To Become The First Ever Spaceman Of Bohemia He Thinks He Has Escaped Terrestrial Problems From His Father S Legacy As A Brutal Communist Informer To His Wife, Lenka, Whom He Loves Yet No Longer Understands But He Is Wrong Alone Above The Earth, His Only Solace Comes In The Form Of A Possibly Hallucinatory Arachnid With A Penchant For Existential Philosophy And Nutella Museums Across The World Will Carry Jakub S Likeness Schoolchildren Will Repeat His Name For Centuries To Come He Came To Space To Tread The Heavens, To Grasp Infinity But First, He Needs To Find A Way Home SpacemanOfBohemia An Incredible Experience I Can Honestly Say I Loved Every Page Every Sentence Spaceman Of Bohemia Is Unforgettable A Work Of Breathtaking Scope And Heart, And A Reflection Of Humanity That S Raw And Strange And Profound And True Lisa McInerney, Author Of The Bailey Prize Winning The Glorious Heresies I went through some interesting stages as I read this one I didn t really have any expectations other than a possible or rather probable literature SF hybrid, delving deeper into the introspective and lyrical areas of space Perhaps it could have been an oddball exploration, perhaps humorous.As I read, I noticed the lyrical bits and there s plenty of deep characterization and family and memory going on, which seems to be the common thread for long missions in space these days, but then somethin I went through some interesting stages as I read this one I didn t really have any expectations other than a possible or rather probable literature SF hybrid, delving deeper into the introspective and lyrical areas of space Perhaps it could have been an oddball exploration, perhaps humorous.As I read, I noticed the lyrical bits and there s plenty of deep characterization and family and memory going on, which seems to be the common thread for long missions in space these days, but then something happened An alien I had a great time with that Everything tied together and I flowed into it pretty nicely.And then the book took a rather depressing turn that I won t go into without spoilers and then it all just devolved into romantic theme between Jakub and Lenka that got progressively morose let alone objectively sad.That in itself isn t precisely a dealbreaker, but sitting around feeling bad for oneself through the eyes of a character that could be ourselves is slightly narcissistic and indulgent and the rest of the novel, while I can appreciate it intellectually, became something less than enjoyable.I m saying it I don t think I like this new breed of LitSF titles I grew up reading Literature before I went nuts with SF, even got a degree in it I used to think it would be fantastic to see the two meet and grow together, but if this is the flavor of things to come, I think I want to go back to the whole action bits Jaroslav Kalfar s debut novel Spaceman of Bohemia has been compared to the extremely popular novel The Martian but Kalfar s novel is far superior I understand the comparison both novels are about lone men in space whose solitary Robinson Crusoe style adventures find them stranded on their journeys of exploration While it s enjoyable for some of the plot and scientific detail I thought The Martian mostly came across as repetitive and it s suffused with a particularly foul stench of mac Jaroslav Kalfar s debut novel Spaceman of Bohemia has been compared to the extremely popular novel The Martian but Kalfar s novel is far superior I understand the comparison both novels are about lone men in space whose solitary Robinson Crusoe style adventures find them stranded on their journeys of exploration While it s enjoyable for some of the plot and scientific detail I thought The Martian mostly came across as repetitive and it s suffused with a particularly foul stench of macho bravado By contrast, Spaceman of Bohemia is thoughtful, continuously compelling and says something intelligent about the progress of civilization.The hero is Jakub Proch zka, an astrophysicist with a speciality in cosmic dust which makes him the perfect candidate for the Czech Republic s first mission into outer space A comet from another galaxy has streamed through our own solar system leaving a curious cloud between Venus and Earth which has stained our night time sky purple An opportunistic Czech minister sees a chance for his nation to enter the space race and collect samples of this strange material by sending Jakub on his solitary mission on a second hand space shuttle The results are bizarrely thrilling, unexpected and turn into a personal journey which prompts Jakub to survey his position in his own nation s tumultuous history.Read my full review of Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfa on LonesomeReader I d describe this as a cross between Everything Is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer and The Book of Strange New Things Michel Faber It s the story of Jakub Proch zka, a Czech astronaut who leaves his wife behind to undertake a noble research mission but soon realises he can never escape his family history or the hazards of his own mind.In April 2018, Jakub sets out in the JanHus1 space shuttle, launched to investigate cosmic dust storm Chopra Although back in Prague Jakub is seen as a na I d describe this as a cross between Everything Is Illuminated Jonathan Safran Foer and The Book of Strange New Things Michel Faber It s the story of Jakub Proch zka, a Czech astronaut who leaves his wife behind to undertake a noble research mission but soon realises he can never escape his family history or the hazards of his own mind.In April 2018, Jakub sets out in the JanHus1 space shuttle, launched to investigate cosmic dust storm Chopra Although back in Prague Jakub is seen as a national hero, life in space soon loses its novelty for him he s no longer the dwarf climbing a beanstalk to arm wrestle the colossus but rather a cellular structure of banal needs for oxygen, for water, for the release of waste And then his wife, Lenka, stops showing up for their weekly video chats, so he agrees to have her followed Maybe after their long infertility struggle she s finally pregnant Amid the drudgery of daily life onboard the shuttle, Jakub makes a friend a giant, alien spider he names Hanu Jakub has the sense that Hanu is sifting through his memories, drawing out the central tragedies that form his motivation for going to space There s his parents death in a cable car accident when he was 10, the shame and persecution that resulted from his father being a Party loyalist and member of the Secret Police prior to the Velvet Revolution, and the later loss of his beloved grandfather, whose ashes Jakub carries with him in a cigar box.This debut novel is a terrific blend of the past and the futuristic, Earth and space It moves easily between Jakub s childhood memories, a few highlights of Czech history, including the martyrdom of Jan Hus, and philosophical conversations with Hanu As they hurtle towards Chopra which, Hanu tells Jakub, contains remnants of the Big Bang , it s hard to know whether this Nutella loving spider is real or a hallucination created by an ill mind In either case, it s a link to the Czech literary tradition by way of Franz Kafka.There is much to enjoy here Jakub s sometimes baroque narrative voice What good am I, a thin purse of brittle bones and spoiling meat , which is all theimpressive because Jaroslav Kalfar is in his late twenties and has only spoken English for about 13 years the mixture of countryside rituals and the bustle of Prague and the uncertainty about whether Jakub has a viable future, with or without Lenka I felt the novel went downhill in Part Two and it doesn t quite pull everything together before its end However, this is still one of the best debuts I ve encountered in recent years, and I ll be eager to see what Kalfar will come up with next I was sent this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a review Sadly this book didn t really live up to the gorgeous cover and intriguing premise for me I kept this book when it came in the post because even though I d never heard of it the fact that it was an SF novel with a Czech author and focus made me look twice Then I found out it was focused on a lone astronaut heading to investigate an ominous dust cloud and it sounded like it had a lot of potential When I started readin I was sent this book for free from the publisher in exchange for a review Sadly this book didn t really live up to the gorgeous cover and intriguing premise for me I kept this book when it came in the post because even though I d never heard of it the fact that it was an SF novel with a Czech author and focus made me look twice Then I found out it was focused on a lone astronaut heading to investigate an ominous dust cloud and it sounded like it had a lot of potential When I started reading the story I quickly realised it wasn t necessarily what I had hoped for or imagined I had wanted to love it but the focus wasn t on the adventure but rather on the astronaut, Jakub, who struggles with the loss of his planet and family and even his identity Jakub goes through an awful lot of journeying which means he s struggling with loneliness a lot He plays back scenarios and conversations a lot and he s soon confronted by his own worst fears when his supposedly loyal and loving wife leaves him and abandons him halfway through his space mission Although this book had some strong moments and some quirky SF ones I am afraid I just never connected to the main guy and thus it didn t really work for me I took slight issue with some of the slower moments and the continued references to sex some thought on this made sense it some definitely felt a bit silly to me Sadly I don t think I can recommend this one too much but it s helped a little with learning some about Prague etc 2 s overall If you blasted Albert Camus or Franz Kafka into space with nothingthan some dehydrated vittles and a brief reminder of their own mortality, I think they would be hard pressed to produce aearnestly clever work Spaceman of Bohemia is a masterpiece of discovery and loss, distance and longing, self loathing and conceit I ve described it to friends as Andy Weir s The Martian with a Masters Degree Jaroslav Kalfa s debut novel easily stands among the great literary absurdists, and I a If you blasted Albert Camus or Franz Kafka into space with nothingthan some dehydrated vittles and a brief reminder of their own mortality, I think they would be hard pressed to produce aearnestly clever work Spaceman of Bohemia is a masterpiece of discovery and loss, distance and longing, self loathing and conceit I ve described it to friends as Andy Weir s The Martian with a Masters Degree Jaroslav Kalfa s debut novel easily stands among the great literary absurdists, and I am proud to have Spaceman of Bohemia on my shelf next to Vonnegut and Bulgakov This is the best book I ve read all year Existence runs on energy, a fluid movement forward, yet we never stop seeking the point of origin, the Big Bang that set us upon our inevitable course Jakub Proch zka, the first Czech in space, is sent on a solo mission to collect dust from the mysterious Chopra cloud The long journey through the cosmos gives him plenty of time to ponder the state of his marriage His wife Lenka is getting increasingly distant during their chats One day, Lenka goes into hiding and doesn t show up for their Existence runs on energy, a fluid movement forward, yet we never stop seeking the point of origin, the Big Bang that set us upon our inevitable course Jakub Proch zka, the first Czech in space, is sent on a solo mission to collect dust from the mysterious Chopra cloud The long journey through the cosmos gives him plenty of time to ponder the state of his marriage His wife Lenka is getting increasingly distant during their chats One day, Lenka goes into hiding and doesn t show up for their weekly call Devastated by her disappearance, he sinks into a deep depression That s when a Nutella loving alien spider appears Jakub names him Hanu , after a Czech clockmaster Is Hanu real or a figment of his imagination, perhaps a personification of his fears Jakub s conversations with Hanu help him assess his life and determine what drove him to this point Can this expedition into the unknown help him overcome his father s sins Will he survive the dangerous journey and return home Even if he finds his way back to Earth, will Lenka remain permanently out of reach Wasn t all life a form of phantom being, given its involuntary origin in the womb No one could guarantee a happy life, a safe life, a life free of violations, external or eternal Yet we exited birth canals at unsustainable speeds, eager to live, floating away to Mars at the mercy of Spartan technology or living simpler lives on Earth at the mercy of chance We lived regardless of who observed us, who recorded us, who cared where we went Spaceman of Bohemia is a mix of science fiction, history, politics and philosophy Sometimes I saw shades of Kurt Vonnegut Hanu and Anthony Marra Jakub s childhood The story takes a messier path than I usually prefer, but it actually worked for me here It fits with the way Hanu interacts with Jakub s memories and mirrors the tangled web of human history Jakub s journey shifts halfway through I preferred the first half There was less room for humor in the second half I also missed some of the characters from the beginning The writing was always gorgeous, but sometimes too ornate for me I d get lost in a sentence and have to start over or I d lose sight of Jakub during the philosophical ruminations I started to see the author s hand in the second half, but it was still a pleasure to readYou know that the world is always trying to take us This country, that country We can t fight the whole world, the ten million of us, so we pick the people we think should be punished, and we make them suffer the best we can In one book, your father is a hero In another book, he is a monster The men who don t have books written about them have it easierCzechoslovakia s Velvet Revolution, the bloodless overthrow of the authoritarian Communist government in 1989, marks a turning point in Jakub s life Jakub s father was a member of the secret police he informed on his neighbors and participated in torture Once the Communists lose power, the man who was feared becomes a target After his death, Jakub and his grandparents face the full brunt of the community s resentment Jakub considers himself the biological carrier of his father s curse Every step he takes is intended to overcome his father s mistakes Are our parents flaws embedded in our DNA, destining us to repeat their mistakes One character notices that Jakub and his father share the same terminal decision to serve Would Jakub s father have always been attracted to brutality, or could his worst impulses be harnessed for good in the right conditions Is Jakub proof that his father s actions were borne out of circumstance Love could turn us all into war criminals One of Jakub s biggest fears is being a nobody It s part of why he s so intent on having children Jakub sees firsthand how the things that drive us can also destroy us As good as Jakub tries to be, he isn t perfect He s willing to trample over other people to survive and I can t say I blamed him He imagines a man tortured for selfish means He even has Lenka followed, despite feeling guilty about it Jakub was completely blindsided by Lenka s disappearance His travels caused some strain on their relationship, but he thought that their love was enough to hold them together He was too caught up in his own goals to notice that his marriage might not be going as well as he thoughtPeople become abstractions And the things weighing on you become clear That s why people are so afraid to be away from each other, I think The truth begins to creep in The physical distance between Jakub and Lenka deepens cracks in a marriage already on a shaky foundation How could he have been so distant from the person he thought he was closest to How could he have been so unaware of what was going on right in front of him It was exhilarating, all of it was existence alone not revolution Our efforts to establish routines in the nature that forbade them, to understand depths we could never reach, to declare truths even as we collectively snicker at the word s virginal piousness What a mess of contradictions the gods created when they graced us with self awarenessWhy are we here Is a life made most meaningful by a person s achievements or the intimate relationships they make along the way Who has it better in life those who live simple lives or those whose names are still uttered because of their contributions to society Is living a quiet life enough Jakub expresses wonderment at humanity s unstoppable march forward When he looks at Old Town Square in Prague, he sees all of its iterations through the decades the things that change for the good, the things that change for the worse, and the things that only change on the surface Life is messy, but alway moving He feels an overwhelming love of humanity and a sense of pride to be a part of it all He sees the value in people who propel us forward without any thought to self preservation, but also in those who keep moving forward with their day to day lives despite everything going around them As driven as Jakub was to explore the unknowns of space, he realizes there are many mysteries to explore on the Earth too In a way, we are all exploring the unknown, feeling our way through the dark How unlikely Yet here we are Isolation makes Jakub see what he values and what he really wants out of his life Will Jakub get a second chance to live for himself He ll have to confront many uncomfortable truths first Like with many of these stories packed with lots of big ideas, I m not confident that I absorbed everything It was a messy, beautiful journey, very much like life.I received this book for free from Netgalley and Little, Brown and Company in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review It s available now Another quote that struck me, but I couldn t work it into my review The greatness of a nation is in its symbols, its gestures, in doing things that are unprecedented It s why the Americans are falling behind they built a nation on the idea of doing new things, and now they d rather sit and pray that the world won t make them adapt too much. This book wasn t at all what I thought it would be I went in expecting maybe a slightly wacky space travel tale, about the first Czech astronaut in space meeting an extraterrestrial life form while going about his mission What I got was a Kafka esque, vaguely allegorical story about the first Czech astronaut in space, with lots of rumination about politics, relationships, privacy, family, and many other topics Jakub is chosen for a mission to investigate a potentially dangerous dust cloud i This book wasn t at all what I thought it would be I went in expecting maybe a slightly wacky space travel tale, about the first Czech astronaut in space meeting an extraterrestrial life form while going about his mission What I got was a Kafka esque, vaguely allegorical story about the first Czech astronaut in space, with lots of rumination about politics, relationships, privacy, family, and many other topics Jakub is chosen for a mission to investigate a potentially dangerous dust cloud in space, and he sees this as an opportunity to redeem his family s name his father was a Communist enforcer before the 1989 revolution He leaves behind a wife, knowing that the mission could be suicide He has started to feel the psychological stress of months alone in space when he meets a giant alien spider Philosophical conversations between spaceman and alien ensue And I know this is kind of weird, but I kept singing the song Dream Ghost from Crazy Ex Girlfriend while I was reading, because it s never really clear if the spider was hallucinated or actually real And also its purpose in the story is the same purpose that Michael Hyatt, Ricki Lake, and Amber Riley explain in the song giving advice you kind of already knew The space journey and its potential disasters is interspersed with Jakub s personal history how his father s career affected his childhood, how he met his wife, and the tensions in their marriage It was fine, but I was expectingof a space adventure kind of story and so I was honestly a little bored by all the rumination I wasn t really sure that I was headed towards a point For the record, we were headed towards a point Jakub s story is actually brought full circle in a fairly powerful way But that didn t happen until the last fifty pages and by that point, I was just too disengaged from the story for it to reeeaaaally have a significant impact on me And that s a shame, because I think this could be a great fit for a different reader, someone who s a littleinterested in reading a philosophical Czech novel that just so happens to be set in space

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