Slaka (fiction)

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Rates of Exchange and
Why Come to Slaka?
Imaginary COMECON location
Created by Malcolm Bradbury
Genre Utopian and dystopian fiction
Type Fantasy world
Notable locations Slaka, Glit

Slaka is the imaginary East European COMECON country featured in two books of the English novelist Malcolm Bradbury (1932–2000), Rates of Exchange (1983) and Why Come to Slaka? (1986). It is described by its leader Comrade-General I. Vulcani as "a nation proud of its socialistik emulations."[1] The first novel relates the misadventures of a visiting British academic, the second is a pastiche guide book to the country. Slaka is also the name of the country's capital; another of the country's major towns is Glit.[2] The country's language is known as Slakan. The country's national opera is Vedontakal Vrop, by the composer Z. Leblat.

Slaka was further explored in television, in two mini-series scripted by Bradbury, The Gravy Train, and a sequel The Gravy Train Goes East.[3]

Critics have proposed Slaka to be a satire of Romania during the 1980s,[4] or possibly Bulgaria.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bradbury (1986), 9.
  2. ^ Bradbury (1986), 67.
  3. ^ Harvey-Wood, Harriet (28 November 2000). "Obituary: Sir Malcolm Bradbury" – via 
  4. ^ Craig Turp (April 27, 2010). "Great Books in English about Romania No. 2: Rates of Exchange, by Malcolm Bradbury". Archived from the original on 2010-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Malcolm Bradbury". 


  • Bradbury, Malcolm (1983). Rates of Exchange. London: Secker and Warburg. Paperback edition ISBN 9780099340003.
  • Bradbury, Malcolm (1986). Why Come to Slaka? London: Secker and Warburg. ISBN 9780436065064.