• Hrabal’s magical stories are comic and human... They inhabit a utopian province, the realm of laughter and tears... A great writer

    James Wood, London Review of Books
  • Hrabal bounces and floats. His mode is a sort of dancing realism, somewhere between fairytale and satire. He is a most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humour and a hushed tenderness of detail. We should read him

    Julian Barnes
  • The discovery of Hrabal's style is very simple. It makes pleasure a principle... Each of Hrabal's novels describes a spiral, a constant intricate movement between pleasure and fear and guilt and delight: they describe the difficult effort to be a hedonist in a world where pleasure has disappeare

    Adam Thirlwell, Guardian
  • One of the most authentic incarnations of magical Prague, an incredible union of earthy humor and baroque imagination

    Milan Kundera
  • Written 50 years ago, in a country whose system of government is utterly alien to our lived experience, these stories are still laugh-aloud funny on pretty much every page


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