Original title: Vybíjená
Petrov 2004, Druhé město 2015
Magnesia Litera 2005 - Readers' award
Slovak (LCA, 2004), German (Zsolnay/Deuticke, 2005), Serbian (Alfa-Narodna Knjiga, 2005), Slovenian (Sanje, 2006), Russian (Innostrannaya Literatura, 2006; Geleos, 2007), Croatian (Profil, 2007), Bulgarian (Colibri, 2007), Polish (Swiat Literacki, 2008), Hungarian (Ulpius Ház, 2008), Spanish (Maeva, 2010), Italian (Atmosphere Libri, 2012), English (Pálava Publishing, 2018)
Over a generous time span, this book follows the varied lives of several high-school classmates, from their teenage growing pains to their early forties. Connoisseurs of the work of the most popular Czech author will find intact his familiar style (the slightly melancholic grotesque), in a tale which deals with friendship, love and destiny, alcohol, beauty and ugliness, and above all with the sadness that slowly penetrates the lives of the ageing characters.
Over 200,000 copies sold in the Czech Republic alone.
“It is high time the successor to Milan Kundera’s throne was declared —and it can be no other than Michal Viewegh. Viewegh achieves
a symbiosis of the substantial, the important and the entertaining. His books are intelligent yet easy to read; they are comprehensive, yet simple. Unlike Kundera, he takes great pleasure in experimenting with different forms of narration. None of his books is the same
as any other, but his fans will always find the things they hold dear.”
Thomas Brussig, Der Spiegel
“There are authors of bestsellers who seek to entertain and others who write with finesse. Beginning with Dodgeball, Viewegh has shown that he is one of the latter. (…) Up until now, Michal Viewegh has never produced anything of such quality.”
Radek Knapp, Der Standard
"School reunions supply rich pickings for the contemplation of human destinies and unfulfilled desires. While teenage love is reignited, death shows itself in the non-appearance of those classmates who have departed for ever. For those themes which require, in addition to the writer's know-how, a certain experience of life, Viewegh acquits himself admirably. Not only is the composition of the novel is masterly but Viewegh shows himself to be a keen observer of everyday life."
Aleš Knapp, MF Dnes
"Dodgeball, the latest novel by Michal Viewegh, heralds the author's return to the thoughtful, finely honed prose for which he gained the acclaim of critics and readers alike in the mid Nineties. [...]
Dodgeball is more than just a story about former classmates at a grammar school, their friendships and desertions, how they help and harm one another, their marriages and divorces. In a stylish telling which surely owes much to personal experience, Viewegh confronts mid-life crisis as part of a deeper reflection on life's linearity. [...]
The revelation of dramas behind the props of the everyday lead the unwitting reader to thoughts of how many of these dramas are at play behind the faces of those they meet, and have long been meeting, every day of their lives."
Petr Kukal, stolzova.cz
"This novel bears all the typical features of Viewegh's style of visualization and characterization, marked with humour and an ironic distance. Dodgeball may prove to be a springboard to a creative rebirth; indeed, here Viewegh's art has succeeded better than in some of his previous works in touching important moments of human existence. Without moralizing and by means of a lightly-wielded pen he has invested his work with a warning: how easy it is to squander a life."
Emil Lukeš, Tvar
"Viewed alongside his other works, Viewegh's Dodgeballcan be said to represent something of a turning point. [...] Michal Viewegh has shown us already that he is, at least in the context of Czech literature, an important writer. Dodgeball suggests he is on the point of something greater, and this irrespective of context."
Lukáš Foldyna, Aluze