I Served the King of England

I Served the King of England

4.3 6
by Bohumil Hrabal
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In a comic masterpiece following the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism, Bohumil Hrabal takes us on a tremendously funny and satirical trip through 20th-century Czechoslovakia.See more details below

Overview

In a comic masterpiece following the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism, Bohumil Hrabal takes us on a tremendously funny and satirical trip through 20th-century Czechoslovakia.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Czech history is satirized through this pseudo-memoir of Ditie, a waiter whose political ideology changes for the worse out of love for a Nazi gym teacher. PW found that ``Hrabal's depiction of post-WW II Czechoslovakia is unrealistically rosy, and Ditie's moral transformation is not entirely persuasive. But the novel is always witty, often wise, and sparkles in Wilson's beautiful translation.'' (Dec.)
Library Journal
Sparkling with comic genius and narrative exuberance, this excellently translated novel by a major Czech writer brings into sharp focus the grotesque absurdities of recent Czech history. Dittie, a busboy with an inferiority complex and a driving ambition to become a millionaire, quickly rises to become a head waiter, but the respect he craves continues to allude him. When he marries a Nazi gym teacher, the Czechs despise him even more, while the Germans barely tolerate him. Rare stamps taken from wealthy Jews make his dream come true after the war, but his first-class hotel is soon nationalized by the Communists and he ends his life in poverty and isolation writing his memoirs. As is typical of Hrabal's work (e.g., Closely Watched Trains , LJ 2/1/69), the novel is full of zany characters whose antics range from supremely entertaining to bizarrely tragic. Highly recommended.-- Marie Bednar, Pennsylvania State Univ. Libs., University Park

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811216876
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
05/31/2007
Series:
New Directions Classic Series
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
304,000
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >