This book is the sequel to Rivers of Babylon, which as I noted in my review was the perfect antidote to the uplifting, wholesome, and charming portrait of Slovakia in my forthcoming memoir. True to its predecessor, The Wooden Village recounts in lurid detail the squalor of Slovakia’s seamy underside.
The title refers to the frequently seen stations of wooden booths throughout Slovakia offering toilets, beer, and in this particular novel, prostitution. Several of the characters, who have continued on from the last story, find themselves slowly squeezed out of their meagerly paid positions in the wooden village as the transitions to the new post-communist economy move faster than they can adapt to.
After a brief uptick in income due to a disenchanted wealthy girl’s brief tenure as a hooker, Eržika, Feri, and Freddy Piggybank find themselves destitute again, briefly opting for the horrifying if hilarious job of luring kids on expensive bikes with ice cream, only to rob them of their valuable vehicles. Not very talented criminals any of them, it’s a short-lived enterprise…Read More