Mr. Kafka by Bohumil Hrabal
And Other Tales from the Time of the Cult

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“Mr. Kafka” leaves the reader off balance, but readers and characters alike adjust to a world gone askew. The bleak humor of the surrealism finds a crack in the Iron Curtain.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Wonderful stories of Communist Prague by “the masterly Bohumil Hrabal” (The New Yorker)

Never before published in English, the stories in Mr. Kafka and Other Tales from the Time of the Cult were written mostly in the 1950s and present the Czech master Bohumil Hrabal at the height of his powers. The stories capture a time when Czech Stalinists were turning society upside down, inflicting their social and political experiments on mostly unwilling subjects. These stories are set variously in the gas-lit streets of post-war Prague; on the raucous and dangerous factory floor of the famous Poldi steelworks where Hrabal himself once worked; in a cacophonous open-air dance hall where classical and popular music come to blows; at the basement studio where a crazed artist attempts to fashion a national icon; on the scaffolding around a decommissioned church. Hrabal captures men and women trapped in an eerily beautiful nightmare, longing for a world where “humor and metaphysical escape can reign supreme.”
 

About Bohumil Hrabal

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Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born in Moravia and started writing poems under the influence of French surrealism. In the early 1950s he began to experiment with a stream-of-consciousness style, and eventually wrote such classics as I Served the King of England, Closely Watched Trains (made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Jiri Menzel), The Death of Mr. Baltisberger, and Too Loud a Solitude. He fell to his death from the fifth floor of a Prague hospital, apparently trying to feed the pigeons.
 
Published October 27, 2015 by New Directions. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Jul 29 2015

“Mr. Kafka” leaves the reader off balance, but readers and characters alike adjust to a world gone askew. The bleak humor of the surrealism finds a crack in the Iron Curtain.

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