Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

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Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby

“In her debut novel, Veronika Carnaby picks up where the Beat Generation left off. Set in 1960, Bohemia chronicles a group of twenty-somethings who defy the “ideals” of a mid-twentieth century society to seek creative fulfillment. In the process, they spotlight the creative path that artists of all mediums tread, all the while depicting the challenges faced by youth in the decade that changed the world.”

When Veronika Carnaby emailed me to propose that Live and Dictate review her book, I was both excited and delighted to accept it because the books sounds abstract and interesting from the name itself, with this touch of quaintness that makes everything more appetizing. The cover is simple, but the swirls seem to be symbolic of the depth hidden in the story.

According to Wikipedia, Bohemia is a historical region in Central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. This is a unique place for the setting of a book because the place itself seems to exhibit a soft vintage charm.

The book itself has a unique and relaxed voice that makes me marvel at how there is this feeling of detachment as though there is someone reading the stories in this calm voice to you in your head, completed with the pitter-patter of the rain and all. I liked the vintage touch to the book, and how the characters seem to be at ease with each other.

Emm seems to be an over-achiever; she is pretty, good at dancing, art, persuasion as well as partying while V in my view seems to be quieter and more observant. I like her description of many things, such as her description of the city and all.

As I am from an Asian (Chinese) background, I am less familiar with the idea of meeting up with two guys and suddenly deciding to travel with them to another area as Emm and V have done, their boldness surprised and baffled me at some points, because I myself would never have done that. For all the Asian kids out there who are like me, you can give this book a go to see how brave, and slightly reckless I might add, that people can be like!

Personally, I think that this book would be more suitable for adults, because it has this historical touch to it all the way back to the 60’s, and some parts such as the impromptu traveling might be a little hard for us to cotton on when we are not used to it. It is a relatively calming and scenic book that makes one feel calm reading it, so if you are those who like action and murder, this is definitely not for you!

Instead, if you want to go back in time and appreciate some vintage charm along with relaxing your mind, this is a good choice.

Veronika Carnaby

American writer and poet Veronika Carnaby carries a vintage charm about her that transcends well into her written works. Recognized for her Beat-style prose and innovative voice, Carnaby’s pieces have gained international recognition after appearing in such publications and functions as The Ed Sullivan Show, Empty Mirror Magazine, Dan’s Papers Literary Journal, SESAC Magazine, SXSW, and the SESAC New York Music Awards. In past projects, she has worked with the likes of Archie Shepp, Ben E. King, and prolific Nashville songwriter and co-owner of Bug Music, Roger Murrah, among others. Since receiving the 2001 Young Authors Award for Excellence in Short Story Writing, she has welcomed the opportunity to share ideas of literary merit with the circles of Sir Paul McCartney, Roger McGuinn, Nancy Sinatra, and Roger Waters.

Channeling the caliber of her greatest influences, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, Carnaby infuses her writing with a poignancy and passion for literature, music, and twentieth century culture. Whether through her feats or her unprecedented knack for the written word, Carnaby has etched an indelible mark as a pioneer in her own right.

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