The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Paperback

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Paperback

4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


Commissioned and closely monitored by Milan Kundera himself, this new translation brings a clarity and unmatched fidelity to the author's original text.

Widely held as a work of genius, "The Book of Laughter and Forgetting" is the novel that first brought him to the forefront of the international literary scene.

Rich in stories, characters and imaginative range, it was written while Kundera was still forbidden to publish in his home country of Czechoslovakia, which was then behind the Iron Curtain.

In seven wonderfully integrated parts, different aspects of modern existence -- from the posthumous erasure of "enemies" of communism from the historical record, to the subtle agony of the fading memory of a lost love, to the bizarre sexlessnes of modern promiscuity -- are explored with boldness, subversive humor and the magical power of fiction.




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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Sex, philosophy, politics, and existential angst. This is classic Kundera. Well written, incisive and consummately readable. Didn't have me leaping around the room shouting 'Yes!' and nodding my head in appreciative agreement quite as much as some of his others though.

Review by

It's hard to exactly pinpoint the reason why I fell in love with this book so dramatically. Perhaps it has to do with Kundera's art of examining the everyday, and making it poetic and philosophical, so that one can learn from it. Perhaps it's Kundera's way of putting the Soviet invasion into his homeland into perspective. Perhaps it's that every single word was full of a maudlin joy, a sad happiness, that I've just not found anywhere else.

Review by

A brilliant depiction of intellectual life under communism. Philiosphically profound & very moving. The more allegorical sections were a slight disappointment though.

Review by

Very much like his more famous Unbearable Lightness of Being, only more political, and much better. I don't think Kundera's brilliant, but he's got a real ability to make his reader think; I have certainly found myself more thoughtful reading these two novels than during almost any others I can remember. This one's harder to figure out than Lightness, but worth the effort I think.

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