A Czech journalist, now in Mexico, reviews his school days in Austria, his apprenticeship on Pragua newspaper, his military experiences in the Serbian war. Filled with now can be told court intrigue, political straws in wind foreshadowing Gestapo storms, but the emphasis, strangely enough, is on Coffee shop criminology, murder, rape, simple Central European style. Digressions spoil the unity of the book, and although it has an unusual flavor which will appeal to readers satiated with the commonplace the Czech cast of mind is difficult for the average reader. Morbid, Ironic, with some downright dull stretches, it never quite reaches the caviar level. Possibly translation makes it difficult, though when Kisch has a point to make, it comes through pointedly enough- Wacky, on the whole.