The Book of Hrabal

Peter Esterhazy, Author, Judith Sollosy, Translator Northwestern University Press $22.5 (168p) ISBN 978-0-8101-1192-9
Politics may make strange bedfellows, but those pairings pale beside the cast assembled here by Hungarian author Esterhazy. The odd roster includes a Hungarian writer (a nameless scribe who was ``supposed to write about [the real Czech writer Bohumil] Hrabal''); his wife, Anna, who has an ongoing internal conversation with Hrabal; their unborn child, whom Anna wants to abort; their live children (who play minor roles); two angels disguised as secret policemen, who watch the house and whose mission is to prevent the abortion; and-last but hardly least-God himself, who instructs the angels, takes saxophone lessons from Charlie Parker, ponders philosophy and bickers with his nagging mother. Given this uncommon assemblage, it is perhaps not surprising that the resultant work proves often confusing-in large part because Esterhazy shifts perspective at will and without warning. Still, flashes of wit and tongue-in-cheek aphorisms frequently enliven the convoluted proceedings. Though this discursive yarn will not strike all readers' fancies, those with a fondness for mittel-European whimsy may well be charmed. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/07/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.