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The Slave

Sylva Lauerova: The Slave

"...there is a dark edge to the human soul that makes us feel uneasy..."

Helena (a successful real estate agent) is frustrated by another relationship that didn’t work out. Left alone for the first time in her life, she decides to spice up “her world” in a highly unconventional way: she finds a man-slave. However, this apparently innocent game leads into a chain of events that gets completely out of Helena’s control…

“…Before they are published, all of my books are handed over to a special group of “pre-readers”. I know the word “pre-reader” sounds really strange, almost as bad as the word “forerunner”. However, the role of this group of people (of diverse age, education, temperament and sense of convention) might not get a more suitable label. These pre-readers give me their feedback through short written reviews. More than that, they also talk to me personally and openly about emotions the book evoked in them. For me, these people represent the standard of tolerance for the particular subject matter among the general public.
The reason why I’m addressing this diverse group of people is that although I would like to present the public with extreme themes, I definitely don’t want to offend anyone or cause any painful trauma. And because The Slave reaches beyond the generally acceptable and I presume there won’t be any novel more provocative and extreme in its subject matter, addressing the group of pre-readers was more than essential. Therefore, let me present you with excerpts from reviews I have received.”

[…] With Sylva Lauerova, we are used to hearing about shocks and surprises. This time, too, she stays true to her reputation. After publishing a controversial novel called The Toy and a book of poetry entitled Michael2007, she now presents her readers with a new novel. The Slave reveals a world that remains unknown for the majority of readers.

It is said that all of us have our inner “demon” and it is up to us whether we allow the demon to awake. Helena, the heroine of the story, finds her life boring and unfulfilled, so she decides to spice it up in a really unconventional way. However, an apparently innocent game leads into a chain of events that gets completely out of Helena’s control…

Due to its taboo theme, the novel The Slave will definitely attract the attention of Czech readers. It is the story of a Jekyll and Hyde; it deals with the question of how far one person can go to dominate and humiliate another…

(Milena Micurova, 62-year-old woman, single)

[…] The novel “The Slave” can be rightfully termed controversial and shocking - not only due to its theme but also due to the reactions it evokes in its readers.

Although the novel might on first impression be considered an “erotic novel with a boring beginning”, this time, sex is quite secondary. Against the background of a strictly defined dominant-submissive relationship, a raw psychological drama about a remarkable shift in human character is played out. This character change is caused by events that are originally meant only as a game.

The author describes the details of sex scenes openly and without restraint. She points out an inner urge to dominate on the one hand and an inner urge to be dominated on the other. By all this she forces you to cross an imaginary line within a theme that is still, even today, considered a taboo. … Or perhaps she forces no one to do anything - the dynamics of the story comes in waves and drags you into the story naturally, so that gradually you find yourself in a strange dominant-submissive relationship with the book itself. Fascinated and surprised by your own curiosity, you start to reappraise your original sympathies and antipathies so that in the end you come to an unexpected conclusion, not only about the main characters of the book but also about yourself. By the moment of climax it is impossible to realize where the limit is - a limit which, once crossed, allows no return to the point where you lost your disdain and started to be sorry.

“The Slave” is a book that compels you to forget your prejudices. And before you reach the conclusion that the writer has gone “too far”, the book itself will put the same question to you: How far would YOU go…?

(anonymous; 25-year-old woman, single)

[…] A game. It should have been just a game. Or a practical joke, a form of relaxation or an escape from the frustration of relationships that just didn’t work out.

Helena, a successful young woman, is frustrated by another failed relationship that became the stereotype of caring woman/ unfaithful man. She is not willing to start another such relationship and finds an extreme solution: to acquire a man-slave. And this is where her game starts; she plays the role of dominant and takes it seriously. However, although she has studied the rules of dominant/submissive relationships, her “new role” gradually becomes too much for her and she begins to lose her self-control…

Readers may be shocked, they may feel disgust, disdain; women readers may feel shame on behalf of Helena, the woman; they may feel sorry for a person who is aroused sexually by pain and humiliation. And they may also ask themselves where the limits are, what one person is able to do to another, and what someone is willing to endure. […]

(Eva Hanova, married, mother of 2)

[…] For a male reader, the heroine’s point of view is unusual; in the first third of the story it’s funny, then it’s slightly annoying but rather ridiculous. In the second half of the story, the change in her character is incredible and shocking. The slave’s stamina in such an extreme relationship is beyond my understanding. The only reason for enduring all this is sexual excitement? I assume that submissive men feel comfortable with it. […]

(anonymous; 30-year-old man, single)

The Czech original of the controversial novel The Slave is available in all major bookstores in the Czech Republic, including NeoLUXOR, Kanzelsberger and Knihy Dobrovsky, and also in all major on-line bookstores,
You can also order it on-line on the website of the publisher:

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