Česky | English

Book about relationships


A collection of interconnected tales about partnership from one man’s viewpoint.

Men’s perception of women is peculiarly marked by out-and-out passion with no beating about the bush. This commonplace is set before the reader in the form of a collection of stories in which the psychology of the ‘hero’ is laid brutally bare through the genuine relationships of which he has found himself a part. He grapples patiently with the countless hazards that may beset a man as he tries to get to know women, and he has to overcome numerous disappointments during his quest for a partner with whom to share his life.

The action mostly takes place in Prague, but with some surprising digressions to the Far East. The stories all involves the same young male protagonist, whose nickname since school has been Billy. The early chapters, played out in the age of Communist dictatorship, describe the trouble he has in coping with his first encounters with girls, and his adolescent musings at his own inadequacies. His first intimate experiences as a student are followed by the events that added a spot of colour to his time on military service. Billy meets women of various nationalities, complexions and mentalities, but that plays no particular part in the typical functioning of relationships between the lovers. Halfway through the book he meets the woman he takes to be pre-ordained for him and elects to marry her. However, this ideal relationship is soon upset by the death of their son, which his wife totally fails to cope with psychologically and she sinks into alcoholism. The forlorn Billy has no option but to renew his quest, which brings him several new affairs, each with a surprising dénouement, like when one casual partner dies on him in the very bed they are sharing.

Towards the end of his journey, by now despairing of ever finding true love, he finally meets a girl who fires his passion anew and he truly believes that this time it will be permanent.

Target readership: women and men aged 18 and above

No. of chapters: 21

No. of words (in the Czech original): 83,386