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About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099540939
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

I Served The King Of England

Featuring an introduction by Adam Thirlwell


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'Our very best writer today' Milan Kundera

With an introduction by Adam Thirlwell

Sparkling with comic genius and narrative exuberance, I Served the King of England is a story of how the unbelievable came true. Its remarkable hero, Ditie, is a hotel waiter who rises to become a millionaire and then loses it all again against the backdrop of events in Prague from the German invasion to the victory of Communism. Ditie's fantastic journey intertwines the political and the personal in a narrative that both enlightens and entertains.

  • Pub date: 1 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780099540939
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Bohumil Hrabal

Bohumil Hrabal was born in 1914 in Brno-Zidenice, Moravia. He received a degree in Law from Prague's Charles University, and lived in Prague since the late 1940s. In the 1950s he worked as a manual laborer in the Kladno ironworks, from which he drew inspiration for his "hyper-realist" texts he was writing at that time. He won international acclaim for such books as I Served the King of England and Too Loud a Solitude. Hrabal is considered, along with Jaroslav Hasek and Karel Capek, as one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century, and perhaps the most important in the post-war period. In February 1997 he flew out of his hospital window never to return.

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Praise for I Served The King Of England

“ 'The fantasising and storytelling deliver a body blow of total irreverence to the solemn mythopoeia of monumental historiography' Times Literary Supplement”


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