Book Review “The Bohemian Incident”, Thomas Arnfelt

“…they had shaved heads. Drilled into their foreheads was a small green stone, big as a lead ball. In one cell a man hung stretched against the wall, fastened with iron around his wrists and feet and with a hood over his face.”

It is 1613 and yes, I know what you are thinking – ah, same old, same old… tortures, witches, monks, horses, beer. You are very close to the truth, my friend… but this book is all about:

  1. Black magic – to resurrect the dead and prevent death from occurring. How? By using innocent people in experiments you can’t even imagine.
  2. Female breasts – large, medium and small. Pick any.

What else do you need for a successful story?

The place: Bohemia (I guess, somewhere near Prague) – a city with one bar, a dumb protestant priest and a big, never-ending forest. Add bad weather. Actually, Bohemia is used quite often in English literature, usually represents the Czech Kingdom (bordered by Austria, Bavaria, Saxony and Poland).

The plot: A group of Jesuits has disappeared in a tiny shit-hole village. What had the men of the church been doing there? Ray’s guess – looking for big breasts. The head of the Jesuits is sending his pay-by-click assassin to find out if anybody is still alive. “Breasts are precious. Breasts are worth more than diamonds!”

I see your excitement… calm down, my friend.

“No matter who you were in sixteenth-century Europe, you could be sure of two things: you would be lucky to reach fifty years of age, and you could expect a life of discomfort and pain.” Philip Ball

Heroes:
Signor Francesco Foscari (Jesuit) and Signor Raffiano Nero (the roman inquisitor) – both are annoying, old, powerful and dangerous.
Max – a little eccentric, skinny, simply dressed and a church-assassin. His past is hunting him everywhere – his twin sister has been burned alive for her magical abilities (witch). Huge sex drive.
Bertuccio – his pupil (and pretending-to-be-servant). Zero sex for Bertuccio in this novel. I felt kinda sorry for the guy…
Magdalen – a baroness (widow) who drinks beer for breakfast. Insomniac, hot, always busy, reads a lot, kind, has strong hands and curly hair.
Else – 17, a servant and in love with the baroness.
Herr Count von Birgen – abusive little dung. Keeps his female servants in cages. Loves hunting. Liar. Good actor.

Language and style: No doubt you’ll understand who killed all those poor Jesuits, BUT there’s a great hook in each chapter and you’ll continue reading, in disbelief, that the bad guy is the one you adore. And most important – you’d like him/or her to survive two pistols (with silver bullets) of Max-assassin. 

The hook is the short diary notes:

“The patient obeys commands in a satisfactory manner.
The control mechanism appears to be functioning.”

OR

“The patient has screamed incessantly for over an hour now.
Need to put it down. Must be doing something wrong.
Will halt current experiment.”

Pros:

  • Romantic touch
  • Sex scenes
  • Fight between Protestants and Catholics
  • Diary notes
  • Conversations in the bed, prison, bar

Cons:

  • Slow-paced
  • Bertuccio is a flat hero. If you’d ask me to describe him – I honestly wouldn’t know what to say.
  • Assassin shouldn’t forget what he’s made of when he sees a pair of cute legs.

By the way, did you know that the abbreviation “pro et contra” (as pros and cons) has been used since the 16th century? #LessonFromRay

Rating: 3
To buy or not to buy? I don’t know. I got it for free, from the library. And it was my third ePub book (read on Kobo tablet).

“Inquisition as such, that is, apart from methods and severity of results, has remained a live institution. The many dictatorships of the 20C have relied on it and in free countries it thrives ad hoc – Hunting down German sympathizers during the First World War, interning Japanese-Americans during the second, and pursuing Communist fellow travelers during the Cold War. In the United States at the present time, the workings of ‘political correctness’ in universities and the speech police that punishes persons and corporations for words on certain topics quaintly called ‘sensitive,’ are manifestations of the permanent spirit of inquisition.”Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence


Next post – “The Pearl Territory”, chapter 3 #BoulderJakobs

Book Reviews

Victoria Ray NB View All →

Living in Sweden. Awesome. Happy. Writing. Ayurvedic food. Healthy lifestyle. Dogs. Literature. Drawing. Meditation/Yoga.

15 Comments Leave a comment

    • I understand…but even jesuits love females breasts 🕺🕺🧐
      So, do u have any magical 🧙‍♀️ powers, Saint?

      • It’s a secret Victoria, 🤫 Hah Victoria’s Secret 🤣 but I can say I have mighty mental and physical superpowers. I may share with you, someday 😉😇

  1. I love your blog, Victoria. Been lurking here for several months. This review “outs” me because as a retired history teacher and not-retired historian, the sunject matter, time, and place of The Bohemian Incident was my bread-and-butter foir many years. Agree with Mascot, Name of the Rose is a fabulous read, well worth your time. And one minor quibble (I am a teacher after all) the 1600’s are the seventeenth century, not the sixteenth. Though most of the characters, I presume, were alive in the 1500’s. Remember, First century is numbered years 1 to 99, second century = 100 to 199, etc. After a lifetime “in the history field” I still have do the math for this issue.🤪 Anyway keep blogging, keep writing, and keeping us informed and entertained.

    • Thank you 🙂 I appreciate that. I feel like I should read Name of the Rose 🥀😉 I’m reading very seldom historical fiction now (but I did quite a lot when I was younger). I feel like I have to read more lol bcz I’m loosing my grip – 16/17 centuries r the good example 🤓🤪🧐 and at least now I know where I can ask for “historical” advice if I need one :)) ☀️😃🕺✌️

  2. You are more than welcome. And I understand your reading “problem”, I read very slowly, and I wish that I could be readfing about 5 times more stuff than I actually can. I also take note that you are a very hard worker. If nothing else this should insure your writing success. BTW, the Pearl Territory (1st post) was very “iffy”, but the one posted today showed real development and showcased your talent. And now, another “Thank You”. The best way to complement a historian/teacher/writer is to ask for advice. I am always at your servive, do not hesitate to ask anything, anytime.

    • Hard worker? 😅🕺 I don’t know, maybe Im spending too much time blogging, that’s why it looks so 🙂 I read in a book (about self publishing) that #blogging is the last platform to consider promote the writing..& in general take too much time (from actual writing ✍️🧐😂). Yeah, Pearl posts might be a bit iffy 🙂 I don’t know what I’m writing about & I actually don’t have any plot or ideas or heroes (I simply create names & write on the go 🙀🤨). A teacher of history should know what’s gonna happen with this world 1000 years from now lol any prognosis? 🙂

  3. A teacher of history should know what’s gonna happen with this world 1000 years from now lol any prognosis? 🙂

    My first thought is that old adage; “History Repeats Itself” I would add over and over and over. Its probably more accurate to say that humans will be humans over and over and over. As for 1000 years from now, ‘errrrr. Assuming humanity will still survive 1000 years from now – a very big assumption – my prognosis would follow Roddenberry, Lucas, Heinlein, yes and even Bradbury and their like minded colleagues – you know, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. Watching my own kids grow up, and seeing the world develop around me, I take note that each generation has to solve the same problems for their respective time and place. Basically its the same issues we all face, the old Food, Clothing, Shelter requirements. I would add personally F-C-S plus sex and books (or as you may say fucking and reading/learning/being entertained🤯🤯).

    You say, “I don’t know what I’m writing about” and “ I create names and write on the go”. Well I say you are a helluva good storyteller and good stories – whether around the mesolithic campfire or the via the new hearth of the ‘Net, blogs and books – are what makes humanity human. And next year or next millenium, that will never change.

    Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year ✌️🧐

    • That was an awesome answer 🙂 deserves a separate post …agreed with you & was interesting to read your view 🙂 sorry I’m late I’m sick 🤒 flu lol lucky me 😅 happy holidays! 🎻🍫💃🎈

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