REVIEW by Philip Clement

NWR Issue 107

The House of the Deaf Man

by Peter Krištúfek

‘I realised long ago... That the history of Slovakia boils down to proving that you were in the right place at the right time.’ Through a child’s eyes the reader experiences the petty tensions and conflicts that are played out within a rural Slovakian family amidst a violent period of national upheaval, economic stagnation and social displacement. The narrator, Adam Trnovsky, spurred on by the mysterious human remains he uncovers in his childhood home, attempts to reconcile himself with the truths he learns about his father’s life. The House of the Deaf Man hurtles through the twentieth century, documenting the effects of four (very different) political regimes, the Jewish Question, the political trials of the 1950s and the secret police that came after 1968...

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