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.

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