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No Saints or Angels Paperback – 17 Oct 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; New edition edition (17 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862075360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862075368
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,463,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'One of the leading Czech writers of the Kundera generation... Klima's prose is controlled and rueful. This is a novel of gently delivered wisdoms, played around a very human drama of tenderness and vulnerability' Independent on Sunday 'This hig, clever, generous book is Ivan Klima's best yet' Times Literary Supplement 'He has a quiet, clear style paying forensic attention to the causes of happiness and misery, making him peculiarly absorbing... A highly intelligent novel' Sunday Tribune 'A fascinating read' Independent 'Klima's thoughtful novel ends with delicate cogency, as a tribute to human resilience' Sunday Times

About the Author

Ivan Klima is the author of many plays and novels including The Ultimate Intimacy and Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light. A collection of stories, My Golden Trades, and a non-fiction book, The Spirit of Prague, are also available from Granta Books.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
No Saints or Angels is a portrait of Kristyna, a Czech dentist, and her relationship with Jana, her daughter, her ex husband, her father and her new lover. This may sound mundane, but the book is emotionally compelling and the story wholly believable. But the story takes second place to the description and development of the relationships between the characters.
Klima is superb at generating sympathy for the characters and has created 'people' who will live on in my memory. I want to know what happens next and how their lives work out - and this is pretty unusual for me. As always with Klima, the evocation of Prague is exquisite.
Klima has written some books that have disappointed before, such as 'Love and Garbage' and 'My Golden Trades', but this - in contrast - is truly excellent and I recommend it highly.
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By Lonya TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
Ivan Klima's Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light was set in Prague, in 1989 on the eve of the Velvet Revolution. Rippling through that work was an undercurrent of hope for the future. The promise of freedom was rife and it came coupled with the expectation that life in a free society would be infinitely better than life under an oppressive regime. Fast forward to Prague in 1998. The Czech Republic has been 'free' for almost 10 years. Freedom has no doubt brought great benefits but for the protagonist's of No Saints or Angels freedom may be just another word for nothing left to lose. In Klima's words freedom is the "gateway to an unknown space where even adults get lost in." No Saints or Angels is about three people who seem to have gotten lost.
Krystina is a divorced, middle-aged dentist. Krystina was born in 1953 on the day that Stalin, her devoted Communist father's greatest hero, died. Her father was a strict disciplinarian, callous and cruel to his wife and daughter, and a faithful party apparatchik. Krystina's daughter, Jana, is a 16 year old schoolgirl. Jan is a 30 year old and former student of Krystina's ex-husband. Jan is a government employee tasked with investigation criminal acts of the old regime. Various chapters are narrated in the voice of each of these three protagonists.
As the story opens Krystina is alone, lonely, and has no real focus except her work and the care and feeding of her daughter Jana. Her ex-husband Karel is terminally ill with cancer. She is also more than a bit disconcerted by a series of threatening letters she has been receiving lately. Jana is sixteen and unbeknownst to her mother, she is becoming increasingly involved in the type of teenage behavior often associated with 'democratic' societies: sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
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