A classic of postwar literature, a small masterpiece of humour, humanity and heroism from one of the best Czech writersFor twenty-two-year-old Milos, bumbling apprentice at a sleepy Czech railway station, life is full of worries: his burdensome virginity, his love for the pretty conductor Masha, the scandalous goings-on in the station master's office. Beside them, the part he will come to play against the occupying Germans seems a simple affair, in Bohumil Hrabal's touching, absurd masterpiece of humour, humanity and heroism. Closely Watched Trains, which became the award-winning Jiri Menzel film of the 'Prague Spring', is a masterpiece that fully justifies Hrabal's reputation as one of the best Czech writers of the twentieth century.
Set in small-town Bohemia between the wars, Cutting It Short centres on the flamboyant and unpredictable Maryska, who loves food and prepares endless feasts. Until one day she scandalises the town when she cuts short her golden tresses, leading to a small revolution in gender roles.
'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.