Lucy, Maceška and I - Recenze, rozhovory

The novel Lucy, Maceška and I is an example of well-written prose, a work with both an awareness of literary tradition and a knowledge of well-established topics, methods and forms and an appreciation of its intended readers and their expectations. To the author's advantage here is the fact that it is not only possible to estimate these expectations, but also fully to satisfy them. Reiner offers readers an attractive cocktail of several touching stories, through narrative with ideas, pace and the necessary narrative momentum.

Pavel Janoušek, Tvar

Lucy, Maceška and I, Martin Reiner’s second work of prose, is a story of special internal sensitivity and mystery. These two ingredients alone give it the necessary suspense and dynamics, and they are given ample support by the manner of the narration. Its short chapters each comprise a miniature text with a brief title; the rapid pace of the narrative, the cuts from one time-scale to another and the delaying of the climax all give the reader the impression of an almost investigative quest. The work is highly readable, smooth-flowing, always sure; it is infused with poetry and lively language. The trio at its heart – a little girl, an elderly poet and a self-seeking young man – at first make a disparate trio, but the co-ordinates come together to form effective and mutually indispensable parts of a touching, multi-layered and artfully woven story.

Radomil Novák, Host

What makes the following storyline riveting? The ways in which the themes intertwine, in which Thomas matures with the story, in which ordinary days practically turn into investigative adventures. How everyday life – which a casual observer would surely see as dull or boring – is seen as a unique adventure. If Reiner’s book Lucy, Maceška, and I has any contemporary relatives, then they should include Kratochvil’s novels and short stories. By that I don’t mean an imitation of style, but the ability to convince purely and simply with a story. That ability can’t be copied; it must be the author’s own gift.

Zdenko Pavelka, SALON, Právo

Gone is the macho (though shy) protagonist from Reiner’s previous story, The Shy Millionaire is Coming. What remains is Reiner the poet, in his latest book, velvety low-key, but narratively alive. Lucy, Maceška and I is a book that draws one in slowly. It captures the reader with its friendly tone and precise timing, which in the endings of some chapters really delivers a punch; it spills like a pool of blood on the floor and even though everything is then wiped clean, it leaves traces of unrest and continues to its startling gloomy conclusion. (…) It has been nine years since Reiner’s first prose and nearly three years since his last. If the blurb on the cover of his current book is telling the truth, then the author must have rewritten and reworked this story many times. This has not been in vain.

Klára Kubíčková, MF Dnes

The start, the plot and the end are clear. Reiner does not leave his readers confused, lost in the storyline, or wading through boredom. He does not ask them to muse over „what it’s all about“. Instead, he takes them through utterly unique, intimate places on the very edge of despair, over which the desire to reach a solution always wins in the end. (…) In the book we hear echoes of Reiner’s poetic world, which he can’t relinquish, because that would mean a denial of his self. His book also has some indisputably pure fictional advantages: it is not verbose, has momentum, knows what it wants to say and stands firmly on its own prosaic feet.

Markéta Pilátová, Respekt

It is not a straightforward story… and that's very good. Reiner’s narrative meanderingly wanders, just like the protagonist of the book – wandering towards maturity. The strongest parts of the story are certainly the passages about the trip to London and the capturing of the atmosphere of Brno in the late eighties – Martin Reiner knows his hometown well and is able to „sell“ it. Similarly impressive are the details of the English metropolis. Likewise excellent is the description of the relationship the protagonist establishes with little Lucy, the daughter of his girlfriend, to whom he becomes an adoptive father. (…) Lucy, Maceška and I is very honest literature, a mature work, and Martin Reiner must be applauded.

Ladislav Nagy, Reflex

Lucy, Maceška and I is above all a readable story about getting closer to one’s own inner self and to a child’s world. Moreover, it is a somewhat unusual reflection on the end of the 1980s and start of the 1990s. This is no comparison of small and large histories; only the natural flow of life. According to the author, this text has been written and rewritten over several years. In spite of that, it does not feel artificial or spurious in any way. On the contrary, as a story-teller Martin Reiner has found a very pleasant, practically minimalist, yet at the same time fresh form.

Milena M. Marešová, Český rozhlas