A satirical tale
A dystopian adventure story that takes place in the past and in the future, Stone Frog is a historical satire about the frailty, stupidity and helplessness of human beings. The main character, Kálmánka is a half-wit who is suddenly elected head of his native village. From that moment on, his life is shaped by others: first the king, Three Percent Charlie, ruler of Kálmánka’s homeland, a cross between a communist regime and a feudal kingdom; then the secret services of various other powers including the UN, the US and Russia, and whoever has decided to use him for their own purposes. Kálmánka travels around the world, sees the past and the future, and spends stints in various prisons without understanding anything that is happening to him and around him. At a certain point, he falls from the future into the past, and finds himself in front of the yellow building of a famous (and now abandoned) psychiatric hospital in Budapest, in the company of people who had been deported during the war and others who returned from the Soviet Union, engaged in a chilling and hilarious debate which sheds light on various events of 20th century Hungarian history. Finally, Kálmánka arrives in a post-apocalyptic land populated with mutant creatures – his own native village.
Spiró’s signature grotesque realist style illuminates the nooks and crannies of the human animal. The carnivalesque world of Stone Frog is full of fairy-tale elements, yet too often, the smile on the reader’s face turns into a grimace when she realizes that in fact, this world is all too similar to our own.
Voltaire’s Candide in 21st century Hungary
ISBN 978 963 1435 19 1
2017, hard cover with jacket
248 pages, 123 × 184 mm