'Folks, life is beautiful! Bring on the drinks, I'm sticking around till I'm ninety! Do you hear?'
A young boy grows up in a sleepy Czech community where little changes. His raucous, mischievous Uncle Pepin came to stay with the family years ago, and never left. But the outside world is encroaching on their close-knit town - first in the shape of German occupiers, and then with the new Communist order. Elegiac and moving, Bohumil Hrabal's gem-like portrayal of the passing of an age is filled with wit, life and tenderness.
'What is unique about Hrabal is his capacity for joy' Milan Kundera
'Even in a town where nothing happens, Hrabal's meticulous and exuberant fascination with the human voice insists that, as long as there's still breath in a body, life is endlessly eventful' Independent
Bohumil Hrabal (Author) Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born and raised in Brno in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After working as a railway labourer, insurance agent, travelling salesman, manual labourer, paper-packer and stagehand, he published a collection of poetry that was quickly withdrawn by the communist regime. He went on to become one of the most important and most admired Czech writers of the 20th century; his best-known books include I Served the King of England, Closely Watched Trains (made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Jiri Menzel) and Too Loud a Solitude. He fell to his death from the fifth floor of a Prague hospital, apparently trying to feed the pigeons.