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A European classic of comic literature
Bohumil Hrabal was born in 1914 in Brno-Zidenice, Moravia. He received a degree in Law from Prague's Charles University, and lived in Prague since the late 1940s. In the 1950s he worked as a manual laborer in the Kladno ironworks, from which he drew inspiration for his "hyper-realist" texts he was writing at that time. He won international acclaim for such books as I Served the King of England and Too Loud a Solitude. Hrabal is considered, along with Jaroslav Hasek and Karel Capek, as one of the greatest Czech writers of the 20th century, and perhaps the most important in the post-war period. In February 1997 he flew out of his hospital window never to return.
"The beauty of Hrabal's book is how he is able to make this tightly-wound object move...what Hrabal has created is an informal history of the indomitable Czech spirit. And perhaps...the human spirit" * The Times * "First-hand experience informs Hrabal's work with a wonderful detail, irascibility and charm" * Los Angeles Times * "Hrabal has invented some of the most memorable characters in world literature" * Los Angeles Times *