Michal Viewegh: Bliss Was it in Bohemia / Báječná léta pod psa

Michal Viewegh - Bliss Was it in Bohemia / Báječná léta pod psa novel
over 120,000 copies sold
A wildly comic story about the fate of one ordinary Czech family over the course of 20 years, from the 1960's. At turns humorous, ironic and sentimental, an engaging portrait of their attempts to flee from history (meaning socialism) - or at least to ignore it as long as possible.
The author depicts with humorous hyperbole his parents´ life stories and also his own years of adolescence. A bitter comedy about the life of a peculiar Czech family deals with rather an attractive theme: the grey years of socialism are for numerous eyewitnesses also the happy years of their youth. The story focuses on the difficulties of a father, an eccentric workaholic with a university degree, whose efforts to protect his family without losing his own dignity leads to the threshold of insanity. In the course of the same period, the extraordinarily gifted Kvido lives out his own troubles as a writer of fiction.

In 2002, Michal Viewegh published a sequel to this book under the title The Wonderful Years Under Klaus /Báječná léta s Klausem.

Film version:
Film based on the novel premiered in 1997; produced by Space Films, screenplay by Jan Novák. Top ten in box office receipts in the Czech Republic for the year 1997. Winner of the Viewer's Prize at the 1997 Egyptian Film Festival held in Alexandria.

Dramatisation for the stage:
Firstly adapted into a theatre play by the Brno company Husa na provázku, premiered in Bmo in 1996; so far has had seven sold-out seasons in Brno and many sold-out guest performances in Prague. In the course of years, more theatre adaptations by other theatres followed.

Publisher: 1992, 1994, 199?, 199? Československý spisovatel; 1997, 2002 Petrov, 2013 Druhé město
ISBN: ISBN 80-7227-135-0
238 pp.


Jiří Orten Prize, 1993 (prize awarded annually for the best book written by an author under 30 years of age)

Foreign editions

German (Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, 1998; Piper, 2000), Hungarian (Jelenkor-Jak-fûzetek, 1994), Dutch (Uitgeverij Wereldbibliotheek, 1995), Hebrew (Eked, 1997), Croatian (Znanje, 1998), Russian (Inostrannaya Literatura, magazin, 1997), Serbian (Stylos, 1999), Slovenian (Delo, newspaper), Italian (Mondadori, 2001), Danish (Gyldendal, 2001), Slovenian (Sanje, 2003), Polish (Swiat Literacki, 2004)

Rights sold to

Bulgarian (Colibri, 2010), Croatian (second edition, Profil, 2010), Latvian (Mansards, 2012), Belarussian (Logvinov, 2013); English (Jantar Publishing, 2015)