Bohumil Hrabal

Mr. Kafka and Other Tales from the Time of the Cult

Fiction by Bohumil Hrabal

Translated from the Czech by Paul Wilson

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I Served the King of England

Fiction by Bohumil Hrabal

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Hrabal is a spider of a writer: subtle and sly, patient, with invisible designs. He never proclaims — he never needs to. He envelops.

—Parul Sehgal, New York Times Book Review

All seven tales thrum with Hrabal’s characteristic rambunctious energy and are tinged with flurries of comic absurdity and ghoulish mayhem.

—Malcolm Forbes, The National

An often powerful and occasionally unnerving collection of stories from a half-century ago […] the timelessness of the best of these stories attests to a human spirit undimmed by the darkest of circumstances.

Kirkus Reviews

Mr. Kafka and Other Tales from the Time of the Cult shows off a distinctly different Hrabal than the one English-language readers have grown accustomed to.

—Hal Hlavinka, The Quarterly Conversation

This strange, revealing collection is major document of class consciousness, protest, and the Eastern Bloc.

Publishers Weekly

The essence of Hrabal’s fiction is to draw beauty from what isn’t, to find hope where we’re not likely to look … to show that we are all of us ‘magnificent.’

—Meghan Forbes, The Los Angeles Review of Books

One of the most authentic incarnations of magical Prague, an incredible union of earthy humor and baroque imagination.

—Milan Kundera

Hrabal’s magical stories are comic and human–they are really desires embodied… . They inhabit a utopian province, the realm of laughter and tears.

—James Wood, London Review Of Books

An extraordinary and subtly tragicomic novel.

The New York Times

Hrabal, in Freud’s terms, is a great humorist. And a great writer.

—James Wood
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