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(01/27/2008) The Mournful Demeanour Of Lieutenant Boruvka by Josef Skvorecky. New York. 1987. Norton. Translated From The Czech By Rosemary Kavan, Kaca Polackova & George Theiner. keywords: Literature Translated Czech Eastern Europe Mystery. 288 pages. Jacket Design By Linda Kosarin. 0393024709.

The first of Josef Skvorecky's Lieutenant Boruvka mysteries.

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   From the internationally acclaimed writer Josef Skvorecky we have the first in a series of linked detective tales featuring a highly intelligent member of the Czechoslovak police force and his agreeable colleagues. Many of the tales are delightful parodies of 'standard' mysteries, and most are set in the author's native Czechoslovakia. Lieutenant Boruvka himself is splendidly realized--a pensive, conscience-stricken man driven to melancholy by the fiendish truths of murder, yet always wide awake to the strange methods of murder he encounters. Twelve bizarre plots involve theatrical people or musicians, and one concerns a band of mountaineers. Its solution reveals pent-up emotions of love, jealousy, and envy. Other cases involve blackmail, apparent suicide, and unusual trajectories for weapons--a wealth of gruesome circumstances, The entire book is intended to be read as a continuous account; in the last tale, the reader learns the secret of Boruvka's past. Never before published in the United States, this unusual volume introduces the sad lieutenant and his developing fortunes to all who relish ingenious puzzles. Three other books will follow, all abounding in the wit and irony that characterize the writing of this remarkable author.

JOSEF SKVORECKY was born in Bohemia, emigrated to Canada in 1968, and was professor of English at Erindale College, University of Toronto. He and his wife, the novelist Zdena Salivarova, ran a Czech-language publishing house, Sixty-Eight Publishers, in Toronto. Skvorecky's novels include THE COWARDS, MISS SILVER'S PAST, THE BASS SAXOPHONE, THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS, and DVORAK IN LOVE. He is winner of the 1980 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1984 Governor General's Award for fiction in Canada.

 

 

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