Martin Fahrner
The Invincible Seven

translated by Andrew Oakland

foreword by Martin Reiner
cover art by Věra Kovářová
cover and book design by Bedřich Vémola

published in July 2016

193 pp, paperback
ISBN 978-80-906428-1-2


The Invicible Seven CoverIn telling the stories of several generations of one family, the author sketches the development of Czech society in the recent past. His version of history is replete with humour and hyperbole, as well as emotional depth.

The protagonists live in difficult times. The book observes in some detail morethan fifty years of history, opening in the pre-war period, giving a view of the plight of the German minority that remained in Czechoslovakia after the war, proceeding to the Russian occupation of the late Sixties and the subsequent persecution, before taking in 1989’s Velvet Revolution and beyond.

More about the book

The Invincible Seven received an enthusiastic response from critics and readers alike; it has been through two editions in the Czech Republic and has also been published in Slovenia (Mladinska Knjiga, 2005) and Germany (Piper, 2006).

Martin Fahrner about his book

My father really was a football player who later worked on a railway siding. My grandmother was a rail switch lighter at the station in Lysá nad Labem, and my mother worked at a department of ophthalmology, where she treated some of the minor wounds and scratches I sustained while rock-climbing. I have reimagined certain real people and situations so that they better suit the purposes of my book. Some of them are entirely fictional: I wasn’t writing a diary, and I wanted to protect the privacy of my family. I made things upmainly because I wanted to tell the stories of people who seek the most important thing in life: its deeper meaning. My book is a tribute to all those who never give up this struggle.

From the preface by Martin Reiner, Czech publisher and award-winning writer

Martin Fahrner talks about the most important things in life in a manner that entertains and moves us.
His claim that it’s worth playing for the good guys has the power to convince sceptics. In today’s world, that’s no small message.

About the author

photo Martina Poláchová

Born in 1964, Martin Fahrner graduated from the Faculty of Education in Ústí nad Labem and the Faculty of Theatre in Prague (DAMU). He has worked as a dramaturg, boilerman, potter, tour guide in the High Tatras and HGV driver on trans-European routes. He has co-authored several stage plays. He seeks out stage plays for production in Czech theatres and translates them from the English.


Pohádky pro veliké děti – Tales for Grown-up Children (1993)
Steiner aneb Co jsme dělali – The Invincible Seven (2001, 2002)
Pošetilost doktora vinnetouologie – The Folly of the Doctor of Winnetouology (2004)
Bláznův kabát – The Madman’s Coat (2015)

About the translator

Andrew Oakland is a translator of fiction, poetry and biography from Czech and German. The novels he has translated include Radka Denemarková’s Money from Hitler (Women’s Press, Toronto, 2009) and Michal Ajvaz’s The Golden Age (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010; a 2011 BTBA Fiction Finalist) and Empty Streets (Dalkey Archive Press, 2016). Andrew Oakland lives in Brno, Czech Republic.

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