Saturnin by Zdenek Jirotka
On its initial publication in Czech in 1942, "Saturnin" was a best-seller, its gentle satire offering an unexpected - if temporary - reprieve from the grim reality of the German occupation. In the years since, the novel has been hailed as a classic of Czech literature, and this translation makes it available to English-language readers for the first time-which is entirely appropriate, for author Zdenek Jirotka clearly modeled his light comedy on the English masters Jerome K. Jerome and P. G. Wodehouse. The novel's main character, Saturnin, a 'gentleman's gentleman' who obviously owes a debt to Wodehouse's beloved Jeeves, wages a constant battle to protect his master from romantic disaster and intrusive relatives, such as Aunt Catherine, the 'Prancing Dictionary of Slavic Proverbs'. Enlivened with new, full-color illustrations by Czech graphic artist Adolph Born, "Saturnin" will warm the heart of any fan of literary comedy.