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Slaka! Land of lake and forest, of beetroot and tractor. Slaka! Land whose borders are sometimes here, often further north, and sometimes not at all. Land of cultural riches, of a language that is easy enough to learn if you speak Finnish, or perhaps a little Hittite.
In this wickedly funny satire Malcolm Bradbury rescues from obscurity the country that formed the backdrop to Rates of Exchange. This, then, is the official guidebook to that mysteriously mobile piece of Europe. It confirms that Slaka is reassuringly the same - captivating, infuriating, bureaucratic, anarchic, comic and sinister. Within this deceptively slender handbook, stories and narratives bubble up between the lines to keep you reading and chuckling.
For Slaka is instantly recognizable to any traveller, anyone who has grappled with an unyielding language, argued with officialdom, outdrunk their welcome, mislaid their luggage, missed their train or just misjudged a tip. The guidebook to end - with any luck - all guidebooks.
'Malcolm Bradbury is a satirist of great assurance and accomplishment' Observer
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'A master not only of language and comedy but of feeling too' Sunday TimesAbout the Author:
Malcolm Bradbury was a well-known novelist, critic and academic. He co-founded the famous creative writing department at the University of East Anglia, whose students have included Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro. His novels are Eating People is Wrong (1959); Stepping Westward (1965); The History Man (1975), which won the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize; Rates of Exchange (1983), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Cuts (1987); Doctor Criminale (1992); and To the Hermitage (2000). He wrote several works of non-fiction, humour and satire, including Who Do You Think You Are? (1976), All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go (1982) and Why Come to Slaka? (1991). He was an active journalist and a leading television writer, responsible for the adaptations of Porterhouse Blue, Cold Comfort Farm and many TV plays and episodes of Inspector Morse, A Touch of Frost, Kavanagh QC and Dalziel and Pascoe. He was awarded a knighthood in 2000 for services to literature and died later the same year.
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