Notes from Underground

One of The Times Literary Supplement’s Books of the Year 2014, chosen by Raymond Tallis

'Notes from Underground works superbly as a novel. From beginning to end I wanted to know what was happening and what would happen next. And it was wonderful being in your company - or Jan's company - looking at Prague (its history, its culture, its architecture, in Mala Strana, Strahov, Holisevice, Smichov) with more intelligent eyes than those I have cast on it in my many trips there.' — Raymond Tallis, poet, novelist, essayist and neuroscientist

"Roger Scruton’s new novel deals with the reality of “really existing socialism” as it was experienced by those who could not even visit something different"  John O'Sullivan - The New Criterion - read the full review here

"Roger Scruton knows many things, including communism, the human heart, and the English language. He was perfectly positioned to  write this extraordinary, haunting novel' Jay Nordlinger, senior editor, National Review

"When I finally finished the book I was not just astounded by its literary achievement, but also deeply moved and, what is more, profoundly disturbed, in the best sense of the word, because it brought back so vividly a part of the recent history of my own country and in doing so, of my own life as well." - Michael Zantovsky, Standpoint Magazine here

“Notes from Underground is deeply humane, sensitive and unflinching."  - Meghan Gurdon - Forbes Online Review. Read the full review here

"A wonderful book...the pages describing Prague in the seventies and eighties, the streets, the faces, the atmosphere..are so well done! I felt the paralyzing chill go down my spine again when reading them"  - Professor Mikin Pospisil, Masaryk University

"A philosophers exploration of communist Prague: Roger Scruton's novel conveys the tangled morality of this forgotten time and place with ease, elegance and deep conviction" - Anne Applebaum, author, Gulag and Iron Curtain

"Grippingly, movingly and unforgettably, Scruton transports the reader back to Cold War Prague in the bleak years after 1968, when the memory of freedom was kept alive by samizdat publishers, dissident intellectuals and subversive priests. Those who experienced Central Europe under the tyranny of Moscows puppets will be startled by the clarity of Scrutons recollection. Those to whom Prague is now just another tourist destination should be required to read Notes from Underground before they go" - Niall Ferguson, Historian and Laurence A. Tisch, Professor of History at Harvard University. 

"A passionate novel about truth and the ways we manipulate it. Abouts politics, yes, but about much, much more - about the human condition, its hopes and fears, its ideas and illusions and its subtle and tragic betrayals." - Salley Vickers, author, The Cleaner of Chartres and Miss Granett's Angel.

"Notes from Underground isnt just a terrific novel about a love affair in communist Prague, its a challenge to all of us in the West:can we regonize truth? As Scruton leads his hero out of the shadows so the reader also comes blinking into the light, newly anxiously aware of how quickly any political ideology degenerates into deceit" - Mary Wakefield, deputy editor, The Spectator.

Thought Control’s Lingua Franca - "One of the lessons of the totalitarian experiment, Scruton shows here, is that it is quite possible for us to reject the promise of our humanity." Read the full article from Flagg Taylor for Libary of Liberty and Law

Latest Articles

Press Statement 12th January 2020

Announcement 12th January 2020 It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Sir Roger Scruton, FBA, FRSL. Beloved husband of Sophie, adored father to Sam and Lucy...

A Christmas message

We mark the conclusion of a most interesting year by expressing sincere gratitude to all the many people who have sent messages of support and appreciation to Sir Roger, in...

Roger Scruton: A year in which much was lost – but more gained. The Spectator- 21 Dec 19

Despite everything, I have so much to be grateful for JanuaryMy 2018 ended with a hate storm, in response to my appointment as chair of the government’s Building Better, Building...

Sir Roger presented with the Star of the Order of Merit of Hungary

On Tuesday 3rd December, the Hungarian Ambassador Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky welcomed friends and guests to announce that the Commander’s Cross with the Star of the Order of Merit of Hungary would...

Recent Books

Notes from Underground

Beaufort Books  (2nd Edition October 2019) Set in the twilight years of the Czechoslovak communist regime, this novel describes a doomed love affair between two young people trapped by the...

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

Music as an Art

Bloomsbury  (August 2018) Music as an Art begins by examining music through a philosophical lens, engaging in discussions about tonality, music and the moral life, music and cognitive science and German...

2019 Events

Wed 31st Jul - Fri 9th Aug - 2019 Scrutopia Summer School

Thur 29th Aug - Sun 1st Sept - Scrutopia Alumni Meeting 

Thurs 10th Oct - University of Buckingham London Programmes - Masters in Philosophy

Scrutopia Summer School Wed 29 July - Fri 7 August 2020