A NEW BOOK REVIEW OF "THE LURKER" ON KULTURA21.CZ
The Lurker moves forward silently, leaving deep tracks in its wake.
Sylva Lauerová’s new novel goes by the title of The Lurker. Where will the author’s fantasies lead us this time? Well, let's delve into the story, shrouded in a veil of strange energy emanating from rare sources. Sources threatened with extinction, if some miracle doesn’t save them soon.
Prague’s underground Metro system is a kind of parallel world in which people in extremely close physical quarters try to maintain the greatest mental distance possible. Locking themselves away in their own private shells, binding their soft bodies with threads of worry, fear, resentment, contempt and hatred; their calcified crusts reliably deflect any undesirable contact. It may be that over time they completely fossilize and there is no longer a soft body, nor heat, within; leaving behind only cold stone. And there in amongst them is an ugly creature moving about, slimy, smelly, almost invisible, silent, and constantly seeking something … a man without a past; the Lurker.
This poor creature turns out to be a link intersecting five life stories; stories in which the main characters struggle with their problems. Dysfunctional relationships, unfulfilled motherhood, the loss of loved ones, work issues, misunderstandings, unrequited love and jealousy – all that troubles them. Thoughts that pursue their every step lead each one of them one day into the underground spaces of the Metro. There, just for a brief moment, the Lurker will cross their path, catching their eyes with an intent stare that will at once shake them but soon be forgotten. The events of the following days though will shift their lives forever, bringing a surprise for each of them in the form of dramatic changes. But for the better or worse?
And what is the role of this poor devil who, thanks to Mrs. Božena’s good grace, finds shelter in the ground floor storeroom of her old apartment house? As soon as dawn breaks, the Lurker returns to the bowels of the Metro and searches in vain for the nourishment he so desperately needs.
In the bleak spaces and labyrinthine corridors, we have glimpsed not only the mysteries of the Prague underground but also the twists of the Lurker’s mind, mission and destiny.
Don’t be surprised to hear that the ending will once again startle you and that you’ll have to go back and re-read certain passages, if not the whole book. Sylva Lauerová again dexterously employs her fascination with the depths of the human mind and shows her ability to empathetically convey the feelings of others. Even though this time the story is not set against the exotic backdrop of a desert island or the Amazon jungle, nor does it radiate erotic tension, there is still enough food for thought and self-reflection. Neither is it lacking in thrills.
Thanks to Lauerová’s aptly ascribed means of communication and verbal expression to each of the individual characters, the reader can clearly hear the nuances of each of their voices, making the story far more realistic. Age, social status, mood, these are all reflected in the narrative and dialogue.
"Boži…, girl…, my dear, are you crazy?" … “I don’t know anymore, Drahu, I don’t know," Božena told her, “I just need to think it over." She turned away and went to make the coffee. She did not want her friend to see her confused and worried expression. Where would this guy go? He’d lived here for so many years. He’d never bothered anyone – she heard her mind tell her – he was just a poor old thing.
(The old ladies, Božena and Draha.)
Sylva Lauerová does not underestimate the power of visual communication, as evidenced by the book cover. The face and hands protruding from the parched, cracked earth are covered with a layer peeling clay or ash. A dry crust covers the face with a difficultly definable, but certainly not blank, expression touched by long, slender fingers. Eyes half closed, mouth open in the last exhalation or just sighing … The dark background depicts the life-sustaining gathering storm clouds, thunder and lightning, which will wash away the mask, or perhaps the flood that will wash away everything?
There are after all so many possibilities and ‘things are seldom what they seem’.
Tichošlap (The Lurker)
Author: Sylva Lauerová
Genre: Gothic Thriller
Release Year: 2012
Number of pages: 213
Publisher: van Aspen s.r.o.
Photo Source: www.sylvalauerova.cz
Review of novel The Lurker on website vaseliteratura.cz
Thursday. The last letters Tichošlapa passed my eyes, then the brain. I snap my book, which I have read two days. Therefore a bit longer than the previous one :-) And my impression? Again: I had to hold my breath at the end. Literally. Makes me think and to go throught the book over and over again to" think again and again". But I do not want to brag like a trained critic, I just want to tell you my dear Sylva that the connection between your pen and mind… The idea, adaptation, dynamics. The swirl of unexpectedly expected and expectedly unexpected. And suddenly it all makes sense. How the story lines meets at a point which is the motive, while accessory, but actually goes for it and makes it a revelation of his nature, I got the unexpected but beautiful "slap" at the end of the book.
After reading the readers' feedback on The Luerker from Ivety Řezaninová on your webiste, I´ve got goosebumps. She wrote it the way I feel it as well. Once again, have a nice day :-)
(Renata Gáborová, 48 y.o., Brno, married, 2 children)
I finished reading The Lurker yesterday . My personal record ! :-)
Many thank to Sylva for this topic . Again her style of writing did not let me down, the art to evoke a huge curiosity how things would turn out , and why everything is happening as it happens . :-) And it's that there are no coincidences and that everything has a reason. But sometimes we do not know the reason :-)
Well, The Lurker confirmed me how I am trying to behave in my personal life. Not to judge people . That's why I came to this book right now. Coincidences do not exist –trust me . :-)
The beauty in this book is that it allows you to conjecture the causes of events , and at the end you find this " slap" and it completely different. :-)
(Štěpánka Kraclová, 35 y.o., 1 child, Jihlava)
The presence of already felt moment …
"How is it possible that she knew what was coming? Why does she remember the Ugly and his weird glance now? Why can not shake off the feeling that behind all stands that damned guy? "
Aneta Boženka, Draha, Pavel, Sonja … everybody is experiencing their own story, but everyone has their inner struggle. With whom or what? With compassion, humanity, contempt, unacknowledged feelings, material security, an illusion of happiness, self-esteem, self-denial, emancipated independency or emancipated loneliness healed by luxury.
What do they have in common and why THEM from the crowd ..?! Just for a short moment, briefly, in a place that you would hardly expect – HE crossed their fate. Who or what is he, and how will change their lives? It is a curse or a blessing? Do they just have to open their eyes, be punished or is there any other option?
Sylva Lauerová with this psychological and absorbing thriller honors her unpredictability and presents the reader stories giving one joint knowledge - things can be different than they appear.
It's been several months since I had the opportunity as one of the few chosen to read The Lurker before he hit the shops. Then I wrote these few lines containing the thoughts that I crossed my mind after finishingg reading of the Lurker. But then I said I needed time to get everything "settled down" and then I can finish my lines with distance. I was wrong. Time caused only one thing- now I realize much more that things can be (and are) different than they appear. The perspective I'm still trying to find, and the only thing that has changed with the distance - a stronger belief that everything bad has a reason. Whether this is true or not. Only time will tell …
J. Kratochvílová, Brno, 33 y. o., předčtenářka
… Where was The Luerke when my then- husband dropped our two months old son …
… How many times we had passed him on the bare corridors of hospitals , in dingy waiting rooms of doctors´offices with well-educated but childless psychologists …
… Why me, why my little helpless and defenseless boy … powerlessness and despair, my envious,
hateful glances at the feet healthy children …
After reading the book by Sylva Lauerová I have been thinking for a couple of days . Maybe without "our" Lurker my son would not be here at all. Or has been , but on the wheel chait. Or with crutches . Or mentally disabled.
He is not 100% healthy and never will be! We both have to fight with this fact. But thank you, Lurker!
Iveta Řezaninová, Plzeň, 46 y. o., married again :-), one child (27 y.o.)