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The Guinea Pigs

The Guinea Pigs A clerk at the State Bank begins to notice that something strange is going on bank employees are stuffing their pockets with money every day only to have it taken every evening by the security guards

  • Title: The Guinea Pigs
  • Author: Ludvík Vaculík Kaca Polackova Ludvík Vaculík Neal Ascherson
  • ISBN: 9780810107267
  • Page: 231
  • Format: Paperback
  • A clerk at the State Bank begins to notice that something strange is going on bank employees are stuffing their pockets with money every day, only to have it taken every evening by the security guards who search the employees and confiscate the cash But, there s a discrepancy between what is being confiscated and what is being returned to the bank, and our hero is beginnA clerk at the State Bank begins to notice that something strange is going on bank employees are stuffing their pockets with money every day, only to have it taken every evening by the security guards who search the employees and confiscate the cash But, there s a discrepancy between what is being confiscated and what is being returned to the bank, and our hero is beginning to fear that a secret circulation is developing, one that could undermine the whole economy.Meanwhile, the clerk and his family begin to keep guinea pigs, and at night, when everyone is asleep, our hero begins to conduct experiments with the pets, teaching them tricks, testing their intelligence and endurance, and using some rather questionable methods to encourage the animals to befriend him.

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      Published :2020-07-10T11:50:33+00:00

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    1. Ludvík Vaculík Kaca Polackova Ludvík Vaculík Neal Ascherson

      Ludvík Vaculík Kaca Polackova Ludvík Vaculík Neal Ascherson Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Guinea Pigs book, this is one of the most wanted Ludvík Vaculík Kaca Polackova Ludvík Vaculík Neal Ascherson author readers around the world.

    417 Comments

    1. When Wit is A Compulsive Cover for AnxietyThis is a delightful, whimsical book, with modest humor and unexpected witticisms on every page: and that is why I couldn't finish it. There is a direct correlation between how delighted I was to read the first page -- the density of the jokes, the continuous stream of quirky humor -- and the speed at which my attention and patience fell off. I stopped reading about halfway through.What does I mean when an author depends so heavily on eccentric wit? When [...]


    2. The hardest thing in the world, girls and boys, is to change your life by your own free will. Even if you are absolutely convinced that you're the engineer on your own locomotive, someone else is always going to flip the switch that makes you change tracks, and it's usually someone who knows much less than you do.Political allegory meet Czech writer Ludvik Vacilik. Ludvik Vaculik meet political allegory. When you're under Communist rule in Czechoslovakia during the 1960s and 1970s and you know t [...]


    3. "Świnki morskie" Ludvika Vaculika przerażają. To horror ukryty za pozorami opowiastki obyczajowej. To ludzka natura zamknięta w nieco prześmiewczej literackiej pigułce. Bestialska, owszem, ale jakże przez to dziwnie prawdziwa. To także gorzka metafora na dręczący jednostki reżim, który wymaga całkowitego podporządkowania. To sztuczny uśmiech zamknięty w masce okrucieństwa. Dziwne, że od niektórych fragmentów robi się niedobrze, że czytelnik czuje się jak w potrzasku, jak t [...]


    4. DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.So awesome; so glad we're reissuing this. AND including the drawings by his brother . . .


    5. Some writers are able to write about a mundane subject and make it a fascinating study. Mervyn Peake comes to mind for his incredible depiction of a courtship between an aged professor and an elderly, both of them vain and entirely inept at conducting any social encounter, let alone the first steps of budding intimacy. Before reading the dozens of pages devoted to this story (itself a part of the greater novel that is "Gormenghast"), I never would have dreamed that I would be even marginally int [...]


    6. Een vreemd soort humor kenmerkt dit boek, dat zich afspeelt in Praag tijdens het communistisch bewind. Een werknemer van de Staatsbank houdt zich bezig met hypothesen betreffende de economie en met cavia'sHet boek begon aardig, maar bij momenten kostte het toch wat inspanning om verder te lezen.


    7. Translated from the Czech by Kaca PolackovaI began reading The Guinea Pigs amused and entertained by the main character, Vasek, a family man who wishes to get his city-bound family back to nature. Since buying a rural cottage is unrealistic, he instead acquires a guinea pig for his family who live in Prague. Vasek appears to be a firm but doting father, and the first-person narration seemed almost sweet at first, as he narrates the story as if telling a child's bedtime story or guide for the car [...]


    8. Wat een lolbroek, die Ludvik Vaculik, dacht ik bij het begin van de lectuur. "In Praag woont meer dan een miljoen mensen, die ik hier maar niet één voor één zal opnoemen" zo begint het boek. Zo gaat dat het hele boek door met geestigheden van nogal flauw tot echt goed gevonden, meestal in een licht absurd register. Ludvik zou zo aan de slag gekund hebben als Humo redacteur of scenarist voor Kamagurka. Helaas kenden ze die niet in het Tsjechoslowakije van rond 1970. Vasek, de ik-persoon, is b [...]


    9. 3.6 starsThe Guinea Pigs is a wild novel about a Czech bank worker who spends large swaths of his days lining up banknotes in the same direction. At home, his family has guinea pigs; he isn't always very nice to them. Or his kids. I enjoyed Vaculík's use of fairy tale motifs, black humor, and absurdity. And the novel's last sentence. (There's more about The Guinea Pigs on my blog, here.)


    10. Kafkovský příběh oděný do knihy pro děti, čtení oddechové i nepříjemně jdoucí pod kůži, kniha vedle uhrančivě dětského zkoumání světa (morčat) a opojné nadvlády nad ním překvapivě plná napětí i zvratů.


    11. Something a book is a good book, but unfortunately not very pleasant to read. This was a curious and funny book, which read however very slowly. Enjoyment therefore was not abundant.Strange but fitting end, playing rather interestingly with the third person.



    12. Cik lasu čehus, vienmēr ar prieku. Mani uzrunā čehu humors - patumšs, smalks, nāvīgi nopietns. “Jūrascūciņas” ir no tā paša celma. Šis stāsts ir smieklīgs (un nesmieklīgs) tik daudzos dažādos veidos un līmeņos - no augstākā filosofiskā reģistra līdz “stulbs un vēl stulbāks” pakāpienam. Apbrīnojams Sandras Nikuļcevas tulkojums!


    13. "La cosa più difficile di tutte [] è cambiare la propria vita spontaneamente. Anche quando credete che la cosa più bella del mondo sia essere conduttori della vostra locomotiva, c'è sempre qualcun altro, meno esperto, che regola gli scambi." (p. 16)




    14. Kiedy przeczytałem recenzję tej książki na blogu cocteauandco to byłem przekonany, że ta książka jest zdecydowanie dla mnie. Zagadnienia związane z wolnością i ograniczającą tą wolność władzą, źródła zła i przemocy, kontrola to kwestie które od zawsze chyba należą do moich zainteresowań. Kiedy do tego dodamy jeszcze autora czeskiego i stworzony przez niego sos absurdu, którym przybrał swoją opowieść to otrzymujemy must-read dla osinskipoldzku.Książka Ludvika Vacu [...]


    15. When I was a kid I had a guinea pig. It lived in an enormous cage in my bedroom. We kept alfalfa as a treat for it in the hall closet, and whenever someone opened the closet door the guinea pig would start squealing in anticipation. It is hard to describe this sound to those unfamiliar with it, but I will say that it often provoked a double-take among the uninitiated. This behavior on the part of the guinea pig was probably its most interesting attribute. Guinea pigs are not particularly known f [...]


    16. "Člověk může být, jak známo, knížetem nebo posledním jeho nevolníkem. V moderním státě pak státním tajemníkem nebo posledním jeho nevoličem. Kým z obého bude spíš, nemusíme si dlouze vykládat. Postavení takového chuďasa na spodním okraji sociální struktury se vyznačuje naprostou bezmocí. Ten, kdo je na konci, je smutný, protože je všem poddán a nikdo není poddán jemu. Má-li však pod sebou jediného tvora, svět se pro něj mění. Sociální struktura se m [...]


    17. The Guinea Pigs by Ludvík Vaculík (Trans. from the Czech by Káca Polácková. Open Letter, 2011)I was familiar with Open Letter’s commitment to translation, but I hadn’t seen their books until recently. I can now state that next to Archipelago Books (another publisher specialized in literature in translation) Open Letter publishes the most beautifully designed books in this country. The covers have a sober elegance that few books have in the current environment in which publishers seem to [...]


    18. This became an instant favorite of mine. I can't begin to describe it except to say that it's a Czech book filled with wry wit, very dry (dark) humor, and the casually-offhand surrealism that Czechs are known for (among those who know Czechs, at least.) I couldn't read this as a novel so much as a glimpse into something, though it is--most assuredly--a novel, and it works well as one. For many likely to come at this book without knowing anything about it or what to expect, there's a lot to be mi [...]


    19. This is a very sly book. On the surface it appears to be a book about a man trying to figure out his place in the world mostly by comparing and contrasting himself with his relationship with his pets. I don't know that I could read this book enough times to figure out all the symbolism, metaphor and other elements that make a good literary book.I am honestly glad that I was exposed to The Guinea Pigs. It was a though provoking and good read. Unfortunately I don't think I will pick it up again to [...]


    20. Oh my god this must be the weirdest thing I've ever read. Absurd and funny and shocking. I don't yet know what to make of this Must re-read it.(3.78 stars, bumped up to 4 for its being so memorable)Why do you have to keep saying that over and over like an idiot, you idiot!"It's really a lovely, delicate thing," said Eva, "but something makes me want to poke a finger in its eye."If I see an acquaintance getting on my train, I make for the furthermost car. Damn, I don't like acquaintances.If I mig [...]


    21. There's always something of sadness in these books. By that I mean from Kafka, Dostoyevsky, and many other mainland European writers. It's both a horrible and intriguing thing to watch a person completely morph into something inhuman, and I don't for a second suggest to care a fiddle about the political undertones of the book(I'm more a pleasure reader than an analytical one). What happened in the book was good enough to make me react emotionally, so I suppose the work is done. It's a tough read [...]


    22. It is difficult to speak of Vaculík without mentioning Kafka, and harder still to avoid speaking of political themes. And while it is true that Vaculík's writing embraces the same, discomfiting surrealism as Kafka, and that his works are undeniably rooted in the political struggles of his time and country, it is also a disservice to reduce his writing to these two attributes. Vaculík excels at the sublimely surreal, the casually monstrous. Reason is quietly abandoned here, with ambiguous symb [...]


    23. I won this book on . The synopsis sounded interesting; although to be honest, I was a bit unsure of this book; after all, it was originally penned in the 1970's in Czechoslovakia. This was not exactly what I expecyed; but I have to admit, I enjoyed reading it! The author had a means to make you laugh, to make you happy, to make you sad and make you angry. He also gave a good insight to life in another country, which allowed me to compare life during the same era in the U.S. After concluding this [...]


    24. The nearest I can figure is that this novel is about the process of decay and loss of will caused by the tight controls placed on human beings under Communist regimes. The protagonist's experimentation seems to represent the playing with humanity by regimes and an uncaring God. The guinea pigs are the example of how paralyzed and unthinking, how devoid of wishes and dreams, people become when socially, economically, culturally, or otherwise confined. A powerful, thought provoking novel, by an au [...]


    25. Translated from Czech, this dark comedy sneaks up on the reader. The narration of begins as if a story is being told to a small child, which was sweetly humorous, but which later started to take on a darker tone as the political symbolism became clearer to the reader. One could make a comparison between the way Vasek studied the family pet guinea pigs and the state's close watch over the citizens of the Czech Republic.If you like conspiracy theories, behavioral experiments, even if they become v [...]


    26. Extremely bizarre. You really need to be a fan of very esoteric fiction to enjoy this one.However, I am such a fan and I really thought it was interesting and engaging. The narrator was infuriatingly sympathetic and horrific - his family dear and broken. The ending was a shock.If you want something new, and you are a true Reader, give it a go. If you are rolling off the latest major Biography, there is nothing to see here.


    27. The Guinea Pigs is a dark political allegory portraying the essence of life under Soviet rule during the Cold War in Czechoslovakia. The author, Ludvik Vaculik, speaks in riddles, metaphors and symbols to obscure the true meaning of his novel. Vaculik includes a bit of humor to reveal the absurdity inherent in such a regime. It is a daring piece that challenges one intellectually and philosophically. A profound literary work from a powerful Czech voice.


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