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Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

The Bug

Translated by Mark Corner
A paranoid thriller of life under surveillance in Soviet Czechoslovakia.
 
A deputy minister in the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Ludvík enjoys all the luxuries that success in the party affords him, but he must be careful: he’s under no illusions about the secret police bugging his apartment. Luckily, he and his wife, Anna, know where the bug is and where they can safely converse. However, any comfort they feel disappears the evening they attend an official party, where they learn that Ludvík’s boss has just been arrested after presenting a report written by Ludvík himself. Is Ludvík next? Back home after the party, the couple must get past unresolved marital tensions to get rid of absolutely anything that could incriminate them—all while contending with the strange men outside their apartment and the bug inside.

Penned under the oppressive watch of Soviet authorities in 1960s Czechoslovakia—but touching on still-current themes of surveillance and paranoia—this cinematic thriller is as tense and timely as ever. A promising Party member who became persona non grata after the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, author Jan Procházka knew firsthand the gnawing terror of life in a surveillance state: after his death in 1971, the new tenants of his apartment discovered twelve hidden listening devices. As The Bug makes terrifyingly clear, the most frightening horror stories are the ones closest to everyday reality.

224 pages | 10 1/2 x 9 1/4

Modern Czech Classics

Fiction


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