„Strach” is one of the 2 polish books I took with me. I got them for free on some kind of sale in a shopping center, actually I chose them only because of the nice title. „Strach” means “The fear”. First I thought it’s going to be a scary story, something similar to Stephen King’s books. But it turned out to be totaaaaaally different.
„Strach” is a story about a young man (maybe not so young, I would say 30+ years old), who lives somewhere by the seaside in Poland. He is stuck in an unhappy relationship, but he is in love with his little daughter Mercedes. Adam – the main character – gets a job in a radio station and moves to another city (still on the seaside, sea is always somewhere there on the background).
Adam is quite a weirdo. Nowadays he would be diagnosed with “social anxiety disorder” and would have to visit his shrink 2 times per week. In post-war Poland, he was just weird, maybe a bit dangerous in his weirdness. Facing people, having conversations with them – that’s what scares him the most. And fear dominates Adam’s body. A stressful situation fills his veins with pure liquid fear and make him behave… crazy. Next to the main problem in the book a beautiful girl appears. She is young, confused, and neurotic. Not such a good mixture for Adam.
I really liked it, but I’m not sure if because it was a good piece or I just enjoyed reading in Polish after a long break. It was for sure extraordinary and after a few chapters I was actually waiting until we arrived home so I can finish another part. It was confusing and left many things open. Now I prefer a bit different type of writing, more non-fiction pieces and journalists articles, but still I liked this one as well.
To sum up – maybe a bit too hard as a book for holiday, but a good literature for an autumn evening at home.