The Eye of the Shark
The novel tells the story of the Czech left-winger Mirek Klecan, an idealist, member of the International Brigade in Spain, resistance fighter during World War II and a man who collaborated with two totalitarian regimes. While he was in Spain fighting as a brigade member, he met the photographer Robert Capa, whose picture of the falling militiaman also plays a role in the postwar life of the main character. He spent the Battle of Brunete (July 1937) in the company of Capa’s girlfriend, Gerda Taro, and even witnessed her death.
During the Second World War, he was active in the resistance alongside the Czech communist icon Julius Fučík, who depicts him as a traitor in his celebrated Notes from the Gallows. Unlike Fučík, the main character survives the war and goes on to live out his story of ideals and cynicism, love and hate, friendship and betrayal, determination and fear for his life. As an old man he tells his tale to a young student after the revolution of 1989.