Skip to main content

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

Everyday Spooks

Translated by David Short
Prague-born Karel Michal (1932–84) lived a significant part of his adult life under Czechoslovakia’s oppressive communist regime. Prevented from studying at the university as a young man, he fruitlessly cycled through a number of professions before finally turning to writing in the early 1960s. Michal’s works—which include detective fiction, historical novels, short stories, and screenplays—offer a Kafkaesque perspective on the mechanism of the absurd and argue for substantial reinterpretation of the concept of ordinary life under a totalitarian regime.
With Everyday Spooks, Michal presents an unforgettable assortment of fantastic creatures that inhabit his strange vision of everyday reality in ’50s and ’60s communist Czechoslovakia. Translated from the Czech by David Short and complemented with suitably eerie illustrations by Dagmar Hamsíková, this collection of seven short stories describes bizarre encounters where the past melts into the present, ordinary people meet comic and anxious figures and interact with ghosts, and mundane speech drifts repeatedly into absurdity.

226 pages | 8 color plates, 30 halftones | 5 x 7

Modern Czech Classics


Table of Contents

Strength of Character
How Pimpl Struck Lucky
The Dead Cat
An Extraordinary Occurence
The Cockabogey
The Ballad of Doodledor
Translator’s Note

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press