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The Farewell Party by Milan Kundera
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The Farewell Party (1973)

by Milan Kundera

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English (11)  German (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Rich, emotional book
Intelligent author ( )
  MohammedMamdouhKamel | May 27, 2016 |
Like all the other Kundera's books made me annoyed and frustrated while reading it, that's why it took me so long to get it done, but well, he always points out something which is so close to your heart but yet depressive. ( )
  GazelleS | May 11, 2016 |
pretty sweet. Kundera remains one of those authors who can leave me consistently and completely disoriented. ( )
  Brendan.H | Jul 21, 2013 |
Reading this thirty years on, I can't help wondering why we were all so bowled over by Kundera back in the eighties. It's a flimsy black comedy without very much to say, and reads more like a film script than a novel. What cleverness there is comes over as movie-cleverness: rapid scene changes, parallel stories, throwaway lines.

The whole mood is profoundly sexist, and there's no evidence to suggest that Kundera intended any irony by setting the story in a fertility spa: this is still the old world where men sit around discussing life, the universe and everything, whilst women fulfil themselves by having babies. If their husbands can't manage it, there's the good doctor to cure them with his magic syringe.

As so often with translations, the (UK) English title seems to have been thought up by someone who hasn't read the book. There is neither a party nor any dancing in the book, but Farewell Waltz (corresponding to La valse aux adieux, the title of the original French edition) makes sense in a way that The Farewell Party doesn't: you can have a metaphorical waltz, but who ever heard of a metaphorical party? ( )
1 vote thorold | Sep 5, 2010 |
everything by kundera seems to define melancholy. this is one of my favorites. ( )
  lautremont5 | Feb 26, 2010 |
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Autumn has arrived and the trees are turning yellow, red, brown; the small spa town in its pretty valley seems to be surrounded by flames.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please note: Farewall Party was the 1976 English version. The 1998 new English-language version is Farewell Waltz, translated from the French by Aaron Asher.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060997001, Paperback)

In this dark farce of a novel, set in an old-fashioned Central European spa town, eight characters are swept up in an accelerating dance: a pretty nurse and her repairman boyfriend; an oddball gynecologist; a rich American (at once saint and Don Juan); a popular trumpeter and his beautiful, obsessively jealous wife; an disillusioned former political prisoner about to leave his country and his young woman ward.Perhaps the most brilliantly plotted and sheer entertaining of Milan Kundera's novels, Farewell Waltz poses the most serious questions with a blasphemous lightness that makes us see that the modern world has deprived us even of the right to tragedy.

Written in Bohemia in 1969-70, this book was first published (in 1976) in France under the title La valse aux adieux (Farewell Waltz), and later in thirty-four other countries. This beautiful new translation, made from the French text prepared by the novelist himself, fully reflects his own tone and intentions. As such it offers an opportunity for both the discovery and the rediscovery of one of the very best of a great writer's works.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Klima, a famous jazz trumpeter receives a phone call from a young nurse with whom he spent a brief night. She tells him she is pregnant and that he is the father of the unborn child. So begins a chain of events which unfolds over the next five days. Klima's beautiful jealous wife, the nurse's jealous boyfriend, a fanatical gynaecologist, a rich American and an elderly political prisoner who is holding a farewell party are all drawn into this black comedy.… (more)

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