‘A quirky, funny, melancholy portrait of a significant European moment, captured by this most subtle of Americans abroad’ Tessa Hadley, author of The Past and Late in the Day
Eager to escape stifling small-town Indiana, Elliott moves to Prague, where he gets a job teaching English. It’s 1998, and the Czech Republic is moving with increasing rapidity out of the shadow of communism and into the wilds of twenty-first-century capitalism. Elliott meets his students in a variety of pubs and conducts his lessons over pints of local Radegast beer. He gets his shoes stolen by an experimental artist who engages Elliott in a number of eccentric schemes. And he meets Amanda, an English teacher from the UK, with whom he falls in love.
Together, they try to make a place for themselves as strangers in this strange land. They explore the dark history and surprising wonders of their adopted city, touring the twisting ancient streets and encountering expats, movie stars, tobacco executives, a former Soviet informant, and the president of Poland. But the forces that are reshaping the city are also at work on them, and eventually it becomes evident that their idyll must end – that change is the only reality one can’t outrun.
Quirky and charming * Sunday Mirror * Kimberling . . . is an exacting wordsmith capable of elegantly simple sentences, and his narrator's observations are often dryly hilarious . . . A remarkable evocation of time and place * Booklist * A vivid picture of a city creaking and shuddering as it settles into a new dispensation... This novel is quick to read, but its compelling picture and insights will linger in the mind * Washington Times * A winning, offbest yarn about life and love after communism * Kirkus * Kimberling's brisk, funny novel is set approximately 10 years after Czech independence, when Westernization had turned the country into an unwholesome stew of capitalism and communism... The writing is smart, the quips are amusing... The story exudes raffish charm * Wall Street Journal * Goulash is a hilarious novel about a man's quest for a home in a place full of challenges and lots of beer - Prague, 1998. Wonderful dialogue, endearing characters, and a deep sense of the historical forces at work combine in all the best ways to make this story really delectable -- Jessica Francis Kane, author of This Close and The Report Goulash by Brian Kimberling entertained me so much... Kimberling, who has lived the expat nightmare, has a droll, quirky take on the scene... Goulash made me want another serving * Lit Hub *
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