Heavy Souls

Iva Hadj Moussa

Iva Hadj Moussa: Heavy Souls

Original title: Těžké duše

Genre: novel


Host, 2024

ISBN: 978-80-275-2009-1

Pages: 359


What ageing white men dream of. A novel about life’s missteps, music, and clashes between boomers and the younger generation


Nearing fifty, Johanes makes a living clearing out flats and houses. He has an adolescent daughter, Žofie, whose custody he shares. He also has a divorce and a sex scandal behind him. Above all, he has three friends with whom he shares a love of heavy metal music and frustration with today’s world, which, for various reasons, the four of them understand less and less.  

Johanes’s routine, comprising hard, physical work and pub chat over a few beers, is regularly disturbed by Žofie, whose lack of experience is matched only by the strength of her progressive views about her father and his generation. Johanes is happy to eat meat, and his views on women remain largely unreconstructed. Worst of all, he has a poor understanding of himself. Is he just an ordinary guy whose failings are down to a set of unfortunate circumstances, or is he a contemptible sexual predator? Whose judgement on his offence matters more – his own, his daughter’s or society’s? And how much can humour, detachment and his rediscovered electric guitar help him out?      

The author has followed the successful novel The Havíř House with the book, in which again she addresses a burning topic for the present day with a humour that is all her own.


Iva Hadj Moussa about her book:

"What’s it like to be a sexual predator? How does the person in question deal with it? And those around him? These were the questions I was looking to answer. I pondered what men think about today’s world, how they perceive the women around them, and how they handle the persistent feeling that things used to be better. I also got to thinking about the labels “boomer”, “activist” and “ageing white man”. I tried to treat all characters with critical fairness, kindness and understanding, bearing in mind that every one of us is burdened by something or other."

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