Closely Watched Trainsby Bohumil Hrabal, Edith Pargeter (Translator)
Hrabal's postwar classic about a young man's coming of age in German-occupied Czechoslovakia is among his most beloved and accessible works. Closely Watched Trains is the subtle and poetic portrait of Milos Hrma, a timid young railroad apprentice who insulates himself with fantasy against a reality filled with cruelty and grief. Day after day as he watches trains fly by, he torments himself with the suspicion that he himself is being watched and with fears of impotency. Hrma finally affirms his manhood and, with a sense of peace and purpose he has never known before, heroically confronts a trainload of Nazis.
"[A]n incredible union of earthly humor and baroque imagination." Milan Kundera
"Hrabal shows an offbeat, original mind, a fey imagination, and a sure hand in constructing his tales." New York Times Book Review
"An old, beloved classic . . . Hrabal is one of the greatest and most inventive Czech writers living today." World Literature Today
Meet the Author
Born in 1914 in Brno, Czechoslovakia, Bohumil Hrabal worked as a lawyer, clerk, railwayman, traveling salesman, steelworker, and laborer before turning to literature in 1962. His books available in English are I Served the King of England, The Little Town Where Time Stood Still, and Too Loud a Solitude.
Among Josef Škvorecký's numerous books are Sins for Father Knox, Talkin Mosckow Blues, and Dvorak in Love.
Edith Pargeter has also translated Bozena Nemcova's Granny: Scenes from Country life and Jan Neruda's Tales of the Little Quarter.
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