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A Pole’s view of the Czechs. Who cares? You will

A review of Gottland, by Mariusz Szczygiel, a profoundly funny book about how one copes with tyranny

14 June 2014

8:00 AM

14 June 2014

8:00 AM

Gottland Mariusz Szczygieł

Melville House, pp.270, £18.99, ISBN: 9781612193137

When this extraordinary book was about to come out in French four years ago its author was told by his editor that it was likely to fail miserably. As Mariusz Szczgieł explains, the doubts were reasonable. No one was sure if anybody in the west would be interested in what a Pole had to say about the Czechs: ‘A representative of one marginal nation writing about another marginal nation is unlikely to be a success.

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Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £15.99. Tel: 08430 600033. Victor Sebestyen is the author of Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire. He writes in praise of Mariusz.

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