Monday, September 8, 2008
I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
In a comic masterpiece following the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism, Bohumil Hrabal takes us on a tremendously funny, often deeply touching and satirical trip through 20th-century Czechoslovakia.
See the just released film directed by Hrabal's friend and collaborator Jiri Menzel.
"One of the most authentic incarnations of magical Prague, an incredible union of earthy humor and baroque imagination."
"An extraordinary and subtly tragicomic novel... Hrabal has told both the story of a nobody and a history of Czechoslovakia and found in their commonplace details everything that matters in life." --The New York Times
"I Served the King of England is a joyful, picaresque story, which begins with Baron Munchausen-like adventures and ends in tears and solitude, a modulation typical of Hrabal's greatest work." --James Wood, The London Review of Books