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About the book
  • Published: 3 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473545076
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160

Mr Kafka




Newly discovered stories by the greatest Czech writer of the twentieth century

Enter the gas-lit streets of post-war Prague, the steelworks run by singed men, the covered market that smells of new-born babes, the cacophonous open-air dance hall. Mr Kafka is avoiding his landlady’s blueberry wine breath, a stonemason witnesses the destruction of a monument to Stalin he risked his life to build, and factory men strain to catch a glimpse of a beautiful bathing murderess. In these newly discovered stories, Hrabal captures men and women in an eerily beautiful nightmare and their spirit in all its misery and splendour.

  • Pub date: 3 March 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473545076
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 160

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 Mr Kafka

“Hrabal’s magical stories are comic and human... They inhabit a utopian province, the realm of laughter and tears... A great writer”

James Wood, London Review of Books

“Hrabal bounces and floats. His mode is a sort of dancing realism, somewhere between fairytale and satire. He is a most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humour and a hushed tenderness of detail. We should read him”

Julian Barnes

“The discovery of Hrabal's style is very simple. It makes pleasure a principle... Each of Hrabal's novels describes a spiral, a constant intricate movement between pleasure and fear and guilt and delight: they describe the difficult effort to be a hedonist in a world where pleasure has disappeare”

Adam Thirlwell, Guardian

“One of the most authentic incarnations of magical Prague, an incredible union of earthy humor and baroque imagination”

Milan Kundera

“Written 50 years ago, in a country whose system of government is utterly alien to our lived experience, these stories are still laugh-aloud funny on pretty much every page”

Spectator

“Laugh-aloud funny on pretty much every page.”

Nicholas Lezard, Spectator


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