35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2002
Bohumil Hrabal is for me the best "Czech" writer ever.
This book is a perfect example of Czech mentality - satiric, love, fun, sadness and stupidity. It's a book you'll love or hate. Once you fall in love in this book you'd read it again and again. You'll discover how life can be beautiful with its simplicity.
That's a book why I'm proud to be Czech. It'a a book I'm proud to be born in the town when the time stood still.
Glorious book, recommended from the deepest part of my heart. Enjoy it.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2010
A masterpiece of creative storytelling and fresh narrative devices without resorting to corny gimmicks, the opening pages are certain to capture your attention with their sheer beauty and striking images (I often re-read the opening scene in the same way I might listen to the opening of Cosi fan Tutte). As with many of his larger works, Hrabal is concerned here with the shift ing of eras, the end of Empire, the German occupation (and 'the German question') and through this he reveals his affection for humanity in all its funny and tragic messiness. I just love this book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2012
Why has the West taken so long to discover Hrabal? This book is the best kept secret of the last 40 years - beautifully written, profoundly humane, funny, absolutely delightful - one of those books where one has to ration onself to a chapter at a time. And of course, profoundly subversive of those ideologies that would seek to crassly label and stereotype people; no wonder the communists hated him.
Nick Martin, Brisbane