Idiots in Politics (2007)
„Having an opinion in politics leads straight to hell. The best way to achieve success in politics is to have no opinion at all. If you don’t have any opinion you don’t take the risk of having a wrong opinion.” Due to great reading success, this humorous political satire is published in a second, extended edition on 312 pages. Readers will certainly be amused by the commented photographs in the appendix. Authors of the photographs are Pavol Funtál and Ladislav Lesay. Facts, persons and situations described in this book are mere products of wit and humour. They have nothing in common with the reality in Slovakia nor in the world, the author of the book stresses. Although...
Zone of Enthusiasm (2008)
A dramatic story of friendship and love (1968 – 2008)
In the background of the protagonists’ stories – Jozef Balazh, Thomas Ankermann and Alexandra Grytsenko, who meet in summer 1968 and reunite after 37 years again – the historical events of the period between 1968 and 2008 take place. Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, Normalization in Czechoslovakia, student revolt in Western Europe, protests against the Vietnam War, process of loosening, denazification in Western and Eastern Germany, growing impotence of the overaged Soviet leadership, the deaths of Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko, Gorbachev’s assumption of office, Perestroika, Velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia, fall of the Berlin wall and communism, collapse of the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, German reunification, foundation of the Slovak Republic, Slovakia’s entry to the NATO and EU.
It is actually a political novel interwoven with descriptions of real situations with personalities such as Erich Honecker, Gunter Schabowski, Egon Krenz, Rudi Dutschke, Willi Brandt, Alexander Dubček, Gustáv Husák, Bohuslav Chňoupek, Vasil Biľak, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Mikhail Gorbachev, Miroslav Válek, Ľubomír Feldek, Pierre Lellouche, Markus Meckel, Milan Kňažko, Viktor Yushchenko, Václav Havel. The story is based on reality to 80 per cent. The characters of Jozef Balazh, Thomas Ankermann are real and Alexandra Grytsenko personifies the life’s story of a real man.
Stop Dubček! (2009)
After the Book of the Year 2008 – Zone of Enthusiasm, the former Slovak politician, Jozef Banáš presents a novel about one of the most famous Czecho-Slovak politicians of modern history. This book was published by Ikar. It offers a captivating description of the social and political situation during the last century, and at the same time, it reviews the work of a politician who, as stated by a former French president, long refused to let his conscience put to silence. The story is enriched with interesting facts about the life of Dubček family and with many mainly fictional dialogues. The story begins with the migration of the brothers Milan and Stefan to the USA, where Stefan meets the blue-eyed Pavlina, whom he marries later on.
Alexander Dubček is born in 1921, after the newly-weds’ return back home. He is born in Uhrovec, a village where Ľudovít Štúr, the leader of the Slovak national revival (19th century), was born as well. The Dubčeks long to help building the young socialism and move to one of the most neglected areas of the Soviet Union, where the little Sasha meets his future wife Anna. After some time, however, the Dubčeks lose their illusions and return back home in search of happiness. Here, Alexander Dubček’s story begins with his participation in the Slovak National Uprising, continues with his political career, during which he attempts to create a “socialism with a human face”, till his tragic death, which the author calls mysterious.
The book grabs you right after reading the first chapters; and any reader manages the 360 pages without problems. Jozef Banáš says that unfortunately he made the observation of how little young people actually know about such a significant person like Alexander Dubček, and that this is one of the reasons why he decided to write this book – in good faith of contributing to the memory of a man who, according to Banáš’s words, gave people hope in those days. Jozef Banáš chose a wonderful way to raise interest for national history of those students who normally do not make friends with this field of study.
Code 9 (2010)
“Code 9 will give rise to discussions. Banáš sends his hero Michal in quest of harmony between man and woman on a journey through attractive destinations – starting from ancient Chinese Xi’an through Tibet, Nepal, India, to Vatican in order to find out that the most attractive place is his own inner Self. He searches and finds – himself. On a journey full of thrilling and extreme situations he recognizes that love and faith are not mere words but deeds. Thanks to this realization he is able to accept the load of responsibility.
The adventure we experience with this book does not solely convey an atmosphere of exoticism but leads us into the depths of humanity and its basic complementarity – that is of male and female way of human existence. Code 9 is a story about the quest for and discovery of a woman’s dignity and mission. The book you are holding in your hands now is neither a collection of laments, nor an accusing document. Each period and each culture has sins offending women on the conscience. The author’s view of Jesus and the church is unorthodox as well. His Jesus is not dogmatic, but rather a symptom of an inner quest, which no generation, no individual can avoid.
The times we live in today literally call for a big story. That is what the author draws us in while making use of what is so attractive nowadays – a large portion of mysticism. I thank Jozef Banáš for revealing us, men, and bringing us closer to our Selves. Code 9 will no doubt spark discussions.”
Rastislav Dvorový, Catholic priest, Tiberias, Israel
Rat Season (2011)
Jozef Banáš became an undeniable part of Slovak literature. Probably also due to the fact, that with each of his books, he hits the bull’s eye while not mincing his words. This novel has been the most courageous confirmation of this Banáš’s rule so far. I wrote about the Zone of Enthusiasm that it would not leave anyone indifferent; and I have a strong feeling that after reading the Rat Season some people will not be able to sleep well. Maybe even the author himself...
The life stories of the main characters resemble too much those of some public figures. In times, when fellowship and friendship are of a much bigger value than ever before, Jozef Banáš comes with a gripping story about this interpersonal quality, with a tale about a romantic-bitter childhood and the loss of illusions and ideals in adulthood, about the hard background of life itself, when many have survived only by means of pretending – and still believe the continuous masquerade to be normal. After all, the main character is an actor...
Juraj Soviar, poet and text writer
Shocking disclosures of dirtiness not only in politics. Actors and politicians will not applaud Banáš, the rest of us will. Maybe because he does not write about us.
Ľuboš Jurík, writer
The novel is more courageous than Banáš’s previous books; it grips the reader straight from its first lines. The Author does not need pathos nor to defame the past in order to tell the truth. His story-telling talent does not leave any reader indifferent. The Rat Season has set a moral trap for some rodents...
Alena Štrompová, literary critic
This book is not suitable for people who love being smart after the event. The story is so honest and convincing that I doubt I would be able to act in a more moral way in the situations described. I thank life for protecting me from them and Jozef Banáš for teaching me a lesson.
Matej Duman, journalist
While reading this book I often found myself exclaiming: Wow, that’s how it was and still is?! Courageous, open, hard. Who knows what reactions the book will cause. I am not sure, Mr Banáš, if I should not start being worried about you...
Monika Jakubeczová, entrepreneur
Last Infidelity (2012)
Dear readers, with anxiety and trust I offer you a selection of my short stories. It contains a few older stories such as Suliko, which I wrote in 1984 but published not earlier than in this book, followed by The Special Train (Mimoriadny rýchlik), The Bust (Busta), Let’s Go to Podzávoz Together (Zájdeme spolu na Podzávoz), Last Infidelity (Posledná nevera), It´s Been a Long Time Since I Laughed This Hard (Dávno som sa tak nezasmial) and A Conditionally Released Heart (Srdce v podmienke).
You can find these short literary works in my first book Better Than Yesterday, a rather small edition of which was published. Thus I have decided to re-publish them and to add new short stories, which I have written in recent years. Most of the stories I have experienced myself or they were told to me by someone else.
My daughter Adela told me a story which I did not have the courage to write down. It was too sad. The story took place in the children’s oncology hospital where the silver thread, bonding the twelve-year-old Adela to her life, was fading away. The girl was a wonderful dancer and if there had been no malignant disease, no doubt, she would have become a top artist. Adela was getting weaker every day; she watched her favourite TV show Let´s Dance from the hospital bed. The presenter of this show, called Adela as well, regularly visited the children´s oncology hospital to share her joys and hopes with the kids. The girl´s dream was to once wear such a beautiful dress as a famous fashion designer designed for the presenter. Adela asked Ferko Mikloško for a favour and he designed the most beautiful model for little Adela which had ever left his studio. “You look like an angel,” Ferko said while looking at the thin body in the gorgeous dress. “May I keep it till tomorrow?” the girl asked. “My mom comes to visit and I would like to wear the dress for her.” When her mother arrived next morning, Adela was lying still. She had fallen asleep in her dream dress ... for ever.
I would like to dedicate this book to her. And to the other Adela as well. For her heart open to sick, old, poor people... and even defenceless animals.