A Story about Dreams, a Computer Game, and Life

Original title: JO537. Příběh o snech, jedné počítačové hře a o životě
Publisher: Baobab, Tabor, 2009
ISBN: 978-80-87060-24-7
Illustrations: Martin Kubát
95 pages
Age: 9+, Children's Literature


  • Golden Ribbon for best children's literature

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Josef is a 12-year-old boy who likes to play computer games. Nothing too strange about that, right? Except that things he has seen in a game, start appearing in real life, and the game continues in Josef’s dreams. He is no longer sure what’s real and what is just virtual. Thankfully, he has his sister Galina, his mom and dad, his grandparents and friends from school to keep him anchored in reality. Everything gets even more serious once Josef’s beloved grandpa is hit by a car. He falls into a coma and it seems he might never wake up. Josef is desperate and his dreams get even wilder.

Luckily, Josef’s grandma manages to smuggle him into the ICU, and grandpa wakes up. The following day, Josef lets a stray dog lead him deep into the woods, and ends up facing a gang of bad men. Suddenly, both his dreams and the game merge with reality, and Josef realizes what has been going on the entire time. It’s as if the game has ended, and Josef is so overwhelmed he ends up getting sick. This time, it’s Josef who is weak and needs help. Everything comes full circle when his grandpa ends up saving him. He brings the mysterious dog from the woods to Josef, and gives him hope that every mystery can be unraveled.

The novella JO537 is based on a rich stream of fantasy, in which the real and possible mingles with the unreal, a dream changes into a reality which resembles a dream, a game permeates life and life unfolds according to the rules of the game.
Milena Šubrtová, iLiteratura

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