I wrote this book when I was seventeen, shortly after the communists caught me crossing the Czech-Austrian border, trying to get away from behind the proverbial Iron Curtain. At the time, there was no War on Terror, and even if there had been, I probably would not have known about it I was just a child eager to experience Zephyr s unbounded joy, singing my own Ode, wondering at daff odils though puzzled not by the characters on a Grecian urn but by the rigid, stale, and spineless character of those alive, those around me. It is not human hands that build walls, but human mind I concluded then, and wrote this book: a brief story about the end of the world. It came to me in a fl ash while I was sitting on a cold stone slab in a communist prison cell. After a strip-down body-cavity search, several hours of interrogation, staring into the muzzles of two shotguns pointing at me from each corner of a cold room, spotlight in my face it felt like the world had pretty much ended for me. What a disaster I could have represented my country in the Olympics! Is this how you pay back to your generous motherland for giving you the privilege of the highest degree? the privilege of being among the few selected, best sportsmen and women of this country, to enjoy the perks and privileges that working-class people have to work hard every day to earn? to earn for you? you live on their backs! and what? is this your thank you ?! the Chief of Bratislava Secret Police spoke to me in a heavy tone in his offi ce. I can still see myself staring out of the window, trying to look into the man s eyes they were dark, full, flaring eyes, unpredictable Turkish eyes and I was but a helpless beetle, one of Kafka s caricatures, waiting to be squashed Still, I believe, the topic of this book a small boy who is the only person alive (or so he thinks) who survived a nuclear catastrophe, travelling through the desert of human civilization, desperately trying to cross the mountains to reach the ocean is a solid allegory, which stands on firmer ground than would a simple biblical re-creation."