On its initial publication in Czech in 1942, Saturnin was a best seller, its gentle satire offering an unexpected if temporary reprieve from the grim reality of the German occupation. In the years since, the novel has been hailed as a classic of Czech literature, and this translation makes it available to English-language readers for the first time which is entirely appropriate, for author Zdenek Jirotka clearly modeled his light comedy on the English masters Jerome K. Jerome and P. G. Wodehouse. The novel's main character, Saturnin, a "gentleman's gentleman" who obviously owes a debt to Wodehouse's beloved Jeeves, wages a constant battle to protect his master from romantic disaster and intrusive relatives, such as Aunt Catherine, the "Prancing Dictionary of Slavic Proverbs." Saturnin will warm the heart of any fan of literary comedy.
Publisher: Karolinum,Nakladatelstvi Univerzity Karlovy,Czech Republic
Number of pages: 263
Weight: 204 g
Dimensions: 178 x 127 x 18 mm
At a time when Czechoslovakia was deep in the grip of the Nazi occupation, one form of resistance was to put the world created by invasion out of your mind and create another. Was it, perhaps, a Wodehousian influence a reluctance to acknowledge the evil of the outside world? Elin Murphy, "Wooster"" Sauce, the Journal of the P. G. Wodehouse Society
A delicious dry humour and an imaginative flair that makes it much more than just the Czech Jeeves. Owing more to Jerome K. Jerome than to P. G. Wodehouse, the writing is rich in homespun wisdom and casual asides that take on a life of their own, leading the reader up charming byways of irrelevance. . . . A surprising number of belly-laughs for a novel that is more than half a century old. Adam Preston, "Times Literary Supplement"