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Publisher's Summary

Beloved ABC broadcaster and best-selling author of Ghost Empire and Saga Land, Richard Fidler is back with a personally curated history of the magical city that is Prague. 

In 1989, Richard Fidler was living in London as part of the provocative Australian comedy trio The Doug Anthony All Stars when revolution broke out across Europe. Excited by this galvanising historic, human moment, he travelled to Prague, where a decrepit police state was being overthrown by crowds of ecstatic citizens. His experience of the Velvet Revolution never let go of him.  

Thirty years later Fidler returns to Prague to uncover the glorious and grotesque history of Europe's most Instagrammed and uncanny city: a jumble of Gothic towers, baroque palaces and zigzag lanes that has survived plagues, pogroms, Nazi terror and Soviet tanks. Founded in the ninth century, Prague gave the world the golem, the robot and the world's biggest statue of Stalin, a behemoth that killed almost everyone who touched it.

Fidler tells the story of the reclusive emperor who brought the world's most brilliant minds to Prague Castle to uncover the occult secrets of the universe. He explores the Black Palace, the wartime headquarters of the Nazi SS, and he meets victims of the communist secret police. Reaching back into Prague's mythic past, he finds the city's founder, the pagan priestess Libussa who prophesised: I see a city whose glory will touch the stars.

Following the story of Prague from its origins in medieval darkness to its uncertain present, Fidler does what he does so well - curates an absolutely engaging and compelling history of a place. You will learn things you never knew, with a tour guide who is erudite, inquisitive and the best storyteller you could have as your companion.

©2020 Richard Fidler (P)2020 Bolinda Publishing

Critic Reviews

"Fidler displays great charm in the telling of his tale, spicing it with delicious gossip." (New York Times Book Review)

"Fidler's story leaves its readers with a sense of faith in the renewing, illuminating, social powers of historical narrative." (Sydney Morning Herald

What listeners say about Golden Maze

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The Golden Maze shines

This review comes after my second full listen. Richard Fidler provides a graceful, simple and elegant biography of the city of my grandfather who escapes the Stalinist regime in the early 1950s with my grandmother, mother and aunt. Prague is a complex and extraordinary city with an enthralling history. It was great to hear a fellow Australian provide a brilliant yarn, demonstrating that both our nations share a sense of humanity and humour. A cracking good read ready for my next flight to Czechia once the plague is gone.

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Excellent overall

I don’t love the author’s “story time” narration, but I also don’t really like him as an interviewer; I know I’m nearly alone in this.

In spite of this, the book is still worth 5 stars overall. The depth, the flow, the linking of diverse narrative threads were all excellent. The research must’ve been phenomenal and the personal insights definitely add to the story. Highly recommend.

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terrible

poor idea for a book
totally poor writing and not at all interesting....very disappointed in this book




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Incredible

Absolutely loved this book! Well written and well read. Richard is a remarkable storyteller! As an Aussie who worked as a tour guide in Prague during a stint living there, I feel like this book was written specifically for me! Haha.
Brought back some great memories of amazing Prague places and history, and also learnt so many mew things about this beautiful country.

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Great book

Another great listen from Richard Fidler. He does such a brilliant job of research. So much to learn.

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Sublime

A biography of city is so often a cliche, but this captures the topography, the culture, and the spirit of place with deft skill.

(It’s much better than his attempt to do the same for Istanbul)

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A Vivid Telling of History

I new very little about Prague’s history before listening to this book. Richard takes you on a journey through time with his telling of Prague’s history and made me feel like a fly on the wall through out. Very enjoyable and moving book.

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5 stars all the way

Richard Fidler has once again done an outstanding job. thanks so much cannot wait for the next city/book

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Outstanding, truly captivating.

What a joy, what a relief!

This was my very first audible book experience and I couldn’t possibly have chosen any better. From the very first chapter I became deeply engrossed in the characters I met and the amazing stories I shared.

Richard has an enviable skill as a writer and a story teller, one that is able to make you feel as though you are actually there ‘in the room’.

I have been on a roller coaster ride through history, a richly woven tapestry of tales, tragic and heroic in turn. I have explored science, culture, literature and, of course, politics through the ages of Man.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Richard’s research and his attention to detail are outstanding but more importantly for me, it is his ability to bring history to life right before your eyes.

There is so much to absorb and so much to mull over, I will most definitely be listening to this wonderful book again.

Richard, a huge Thank you for ‘ The Golden Maze.’ I absolutely loved it.

Your new No 1 Fan!!

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great read

A great book such a deep history that i never knew existed told so eloquently

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