Book: The Engineer of Human Souls

Cover image
Book:

The Engineer of Human Souls

Author: Josef Skvorecky
Honors:
Genres:
Publisher: Knopf

The expression “the engineer of human souls” is held, by many political indoctrinators, to be Stalin’s definition of a writer: as an engineer constructs a machine, so must a writer construct the mind of the New Man. The Engineer of Human Souls is a labyrinthine comic novel that investigates the journey and plight of novelist Danny Smiricky, a Czech immigrant to Canada. As adventuresome, episodic, bawdy, comic, and literary as any novel written in the past twenty-five years, it is worthy of the subtitle Skvorecky gave it: “An entertainment on the Old Themes of Life, Women, Fate, Dreams, The Working Class, Secret Agents, Love, and Death.”

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