A Bohemian Odyssey




Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 7/9/2002

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 7.5x10
Page Count : 348
ISBN : 9781553696186

About the Book

"A Bohemian Odyssey" is the true story of an American trying to blend into the newly liberated society of post-communist Bohemia as that society undergoes a metamorphosis of its own.

The story takes place from 1990-92 and is told through the author's interactions with the people he encountered in the Bohemian City of Pardubice shortly after the Velvet Revolution. It focuses on the challenges of daily life - making friends, finding romance, understanding culture - and the personal growth that accompanies doing this in a foreign land. These activities are told through anecdotes, both humorous and tragic.

The Bohemians are famous for being an unconventional people. This story bears witness to the surreal event of such a people, oppressed for 50 years, suddenly tasting freedom. What does "free" mean in that circumstance? This book chronicles the Bohemians as they attempt to find out and build their culture anew.

Follow the author's day to day experiences from teaching gifted language students to frolicking with Bohemian musicians in mountain cabins to posing as a journalist in order to infiltrate a women's prison. There is every range of emotion in the story. Joy, sorrow, anger, elation, and frustration are all parts of the experience. Likewise there are some unbelievably engaging characters, from an odd doctor who believes his hands have special healing powers to a comical, scheming entrepreneur who is part Ralph Kramden and part Ronald Reagan. There are also hippies, Communists, Mafioso, beautiful women, and a circle of dear Bohemian friends.

About the Author


Graduated from Rutgers College, 1987 (Phi Beta Kappa). Former writer for the Forbes Newspapers (winner of three New Jersey Press Association Awards - Feature Writing, Public Service Writing & Responsible Journalism). Resides in New Jersey, USA.


"I read Craig's book a few weeks ago and enjoyed it tremendously. It was a hard book to put down once I started reading it, as I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the characters next. I grew so familiar with the people in the book, I contacted Craig to find out how and what they were doing today. Many times I laughed out loud, annoying my husband who finally started to read the book himself to find out what was so funny. The book was an honest and humorous view on post-communism life in Czechoslovakia as relayed by a young and somewhat 'wild' American man. Some of Craig's experiences left me horrified and in hysterics at the same time, and I have come to admire Craig for his ability to laugh at himself through incredibly difficult circumstances."

-from Janette Walby in South Plainfield, New Jersey (8/20/02)


"The author of A bohemian odyssey is a great story teller and has a great story to tell. His adventures and experiences are depicted well and with great enthusiasm. Mr. Mracek paints the scene and you can imagine yourself there. He has an excellent way of expressing himself."

-from Debbie Eggert in New Mexico (8/21/02)


"I don't usually read books of this genre, but was very pleasantly surprised. The author combined his own experiences with the history of Czechoslovakia in a way that makes you feel that you have visited the country and met all of these wonderful people."

-from Michael Johnson in Newtown, Pennsylvania (8/27/02)

"I thought the book was great! I also liked the fact that you included some Czech history along with your story. Two thumbs up from me!!"

from Natalie Abuschinow in New Jersey (9/10/02)


"I just finished reading this book and I loved it!! I didn't want it to end! I enjoyed reading about the history of Czechoslovakia as well as the many characters encountered by the author. The author was so descriptive that I felt I was right there with him. I felt every emotion that he felt. There should be a sequel to this book so that we can find out what's happened to all of these characters over the last 10 years!"

from Maureen Balint in Edison, NJ (9/12/02)


"Craig Mracek is truly talented, and I hope he writes another book again soon because I will be sure to read it. His stories were priceless."

from Amy DaGrosa in New York


"The author writes with such colourful detail that you actually feel like if you ever paid a visit to the Czech Republic you would know exactly where you were, where to go (and what bars to patronize). It's a hard book to put down - once you open it up expect to spend a few hours in your chair in front of the fire. You'll laugh, cringe, and be astonished..."

from Stephanie Clancy of Seattle, Washington

"I have a few ways of measuring how good a book is. One is the length of time it take me to read it. If I like it I can't put it down and finish it quickly. If it bores me it takes longer to finish. Before 'Odyssey' I read Grishams 'The Brethren'. It took me 5 days. I polished off Odyssey in just 3 days. Another way I can tell if I enjoy a book is if I read in the afternoon. I read every night but rarely in the afternoons. I spent a good part of Saturday afternoon with Odyssey. I was watching a little afternoon TV and found myself wondering what the different characters were up to. I actually stopped reading one night towards the end because I wanted to save a bit for the next day. It was very brave of the author to tell it all the way he did, scars and bruises included."

from Richard Dressler of Las Vegas.