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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Told mostly through the form of a journal, The Chimera of Prague: Gap Year 1998, Part I by Rick Pryll is the first in a series that follows the life of a Joey, a young man living in Prague, Czech Republic. After his divorce from Rachael, Joey moves to Prague to rediscover who he is and to take a break from the whirlwind that has become his life. While living there, he meets Karina, a shy woman whom he is initially obsessed with. Karina, on the other hand, does not seem too interested in Joey. His interest shifts towards other ladies. Two in particular capture his heart, Ingrid and Izabela. Even so, he does not find what he is looking for in them and he uses them as an excuse from searching for answers within himself.
The form of writing adopted by Rick Pryll in The Chimera of Prague allowed me to experience Joey’s raw emotions and his perspective on different situations and people. His tone is outspoken, which creates a striking impact that continuously engages. Joey appears narcissistic, obnoxious and opinionated which he uses to mask the conflict going on inside him. As the main character, he delivers the twists of the narrative impressively, considering the difficulty in creating an impactful main character who is less than perfect. The inclusion of detailed descriptions of historical places, artifacts, as well as the Czech cuisine and culture adds a flavorful gloss. I look forward to the book’s sequel to follow Joey’s story.