John de Falbe

Grave Matters

Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book


Garnett Press 130pp £8.99 order from our bookshop

Readers who enjoyed Peter Pišt’anek’s trilogy, Rivers of Babylon – and they are numerous – will be delighted to hear that the indefatigable Donald Rayfield has brought us, through his imprint the Garnett Press, another acerbic black comedy from Bratislava. Samko Tále’s Cemetery Book is a deliberately rambling account of grievances, prejudices, anecdotes and worries narrated by a simpleton with a notable susceptibility to his own perfectly circular arguments, who has busily collected cardboard for twenty-eight years. He has ‘become a writer again because it’s raining, and when it’s raining I can’t collect cardboard, because it’s raining’. Moreover, the rear-view mirror has broken off his trusty handcart and needs fixing.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,