My attitude towards Chapek and his work has overgone some shifts during the past few months. Until recently I thought him to be one of the greatest Czech writers but after re-reading tales from pockets I found out that my admiration for his humour had faded. And now when I found a book of his works on a shelf at home I wasn`t very keen on reading the book. Yet I know that you can`t judge a cook by his lover (that was shown perfectly in "The cook, the thief, his wife & her lover" so I gave Chapek one more chance to prove himself worthy of my approval (for everyone wants to be loved by my just as everyone loves Raymond). Hordubal started as a take on Homer`s Odyssey (which I haven`t read, as you can probably guess). Hordubal is a Czech farmer who had been working in the United States for eight years and now he returns to his wife and daughter. The problem is that his wife hasn`t kept her bed empty all those years and that only means trouble. Hordubal himself is quite a simpleton and he doesn`t realise anything for quite a long time and when he does he gets murdered. Still it`s absolutely not clear how he was murdered and what was the main reason of his death - was it lust, was it jealousy, was it greed or was it something else? The novel isn`t comic at all, although Hordubals behaviour may seem silly at times, and despite the traditional start by the end of the book there`s no doubt that Chapek is a 20th century writer and not someone from the era of Dickens. And that`s the way I like it.
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