Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bohumil Hrabal

I don't know what to say about Hrabal's I Served the King of England except perhaps to say that it's the best book I've read in a long, long time.

True, Closely Watched Trains is great, and true, Too Loud a Solitude may be even better, but King of England stands alone. Here's a novel that's so many things: sad, poignant, funny, perceptive, historical, imaginative...the list goes on.

For those with an appreciation for Czech literature, let me strongly recommend this classic: it's a work which I did not want to end.


  1. Heartily agree! I Served the King of England manages to capture both a voice and an entire historical age, perfectly melding the two together. Reminiscent of The Good Soldier Svejk in concept, but its own animal by all other accounts.

  2. I very much agree with you about Hrabal. My own favourite is probably Closely Watched Trains.