This work by Maciej Szczepański is a light and whimsical morality tale in the frame of a narrative about generations. The Sergeant Pepper's children of the title are young Poles who wanted to be hippies midway through the 70's, though the odds were against them in the socialist state they found themselves. They dreamt of a world as fabulously colourful as the cover of the legendary Beatles album of 1967. One of the four main protagonists follows his dreams and leaves for England, later bluffing his way to America. The other three try to reconcile their hippie ethos (opposition, independence) with the living conditions in the Poland of the 80's and 90's (the novel's action takes place over the course of thirty years). Szczepański's novel is made up of humorous and sometimes dramatic episodes taken from the lives of the four friends. We learn the most about the fortunes of the young man who sets off into the wid e world. The author has given him an extraordinary and sometimes improbable past that closely resembles a spy film script. This is where the creative method of Maciej Szczepański reveals itself – Sergeant Pepper's Children is an unusual collage of genres and motifs found in light literature. It would appear that the author is not at all interested in unveiling some great truth about the past thirty years, or in critically appraising the tangled fates of a certain generation. The emphasis here is on anecdotes, hijinx and youthful spontaneity.
Translated by Soren Gauger