cover image I Served the King of England

I Served the King of England

Bohumil Hrabal. Vintage Books USA, $12.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-679-72786-6

Czech history is satirized through this pseudo-memoir of Ditie, a waiter whose political ideology changes for the worse out of love for a Nazi gym teacher. PW found that ``Hrabal's depiction of post-WW II Czechoslovakia is unrealistically rosy, and Ditie's moral transformation is not entirely persuasive. But the novel is always witty, often wise, and sparkles in Wilson's beautiful translation.'' (Dec.)