The Book of Hrabal

The Book of Hrabal An elegant homage to the great Czech storyteller Bohumil Hrabal The Book of Hrabal is also a glowing paean to blues music saxophones and the mixed blessings of domestic life It is also a farewell t

  • Title: The Book of Hrabal
  • Author: Péter Esterházy Judith Sollosy
  • ISBN: 9780810111998
  • Page: 438
  • Format: Paperback
  • An elegant homage to the great Czech storyteller Bohumil Hrabal, The Book of Hrabal is also a glowing paean to blues music, saxophones, and the mixed blessings of domestic life It is also a farewell to the years of communism in Eastern Europe And it is a treatise on the ongoing relationship between God and humankind as reflected in the lives of a Hungarian writer and hisAn elegant homage to the great Czech storyteller Bohumil Hrabal, The Book of Hrabal is also a glowing paean to blues music, saxophones, and the mixed blessings of domestic life It is also a farewell to the years of communism in Eastern Europe And it is a treatise on the ongoing relationship between God and humankind as reflected in the lives of a Hungarian writer and his wife The novel centers on Anna, the blues singing housewife and mother of three soon to be four who suffers through her husband s often impossible writing experiments She addresses her reminiscences and reflections to Hrabal, his current subject Her thoughts swing from domestic matters to the injustices suffered by her family during the Stalinist 1950s, the police harassment in subsequent years, and the many strains on her marriage Her husband, in turn, is so hopelessly entangled in his project celebrating Hrabal that he is incapable of actually writing it The story develops into a literary love triangle, as Hrabal becomes Anna s confidant and an invisible participant in the marriage Meanwhile two angels shadow the house, disguised as secret policemen and speaking with God via walkie talkie in a surprising blend of celestial and urban slang Their mission to prevent Anna from aborting her fourth child When this outcome is in doubt, God himself aka Bruno enters the scene he chats with Hrabal, takes saxophone lessons from an irreverent Charlie Parker, and plays the sax for Anna to try to dissuade her from ending the pregnancy Unfortunately the Lord is tone deaf, and his love for jazz and blues is matched only by his utter lack of musical talent A brilliant stylist, Esterhazy creates a complex and playful novel through deft manipulation of language, tone, and perspective.A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of theYear

    One thought on “The Book of Hrabal”

    1. Underneath all the eccentricity and at times difficult to follow narrative, there are some heavy themes tackled here; God, Communism and abortion (I was not prepared for the latter at all). There is no underlying plot, it seems to be a long contemplation on the above themes. I found it a difficult read, mainly due to the incredibly complex narrative and the frequent sudden changes in perspective and at one point I was close to giving up but I'm glad I stuck with it as it is certainly one of the [...]

    2. Een schitterend boek, maar je moet wel van deze schrijver houden. Het is geschreven als een ode aan de tsjechische schrijver Hrabal, maar gaat uieindleijk over Hongarije in de 80-er jaren en over de familie van de schrijver. Zoals in al zijn boeken wordt er veel verwezen naar andere schrijvers en neemt het verhaal af en toe absurde wendingen.

    3. Difficult to follow narrative, but a great homage to Hrabal and some of the most painfully beautiful paragraphs describing life in communist Hungary.

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