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Bohumil Hrabal (1914–1997)

Author of Too Loud a Solitude

156+ Works 6,631 Members 155 Reviews 58 Favorited

About the Author

Hrabal worked as a lawyer, clerk, railwayman, traveling salesman, steelworker, and laborer before turning to literature in 1962. In his tragic-comic novels and short stories he concentrates on the everyday lives of ordinary people. Thomas Lask says, "Hrabal shows an offbeat, original mind, a fey show more imagination and a sure hand in constructing his tales" (N.Y. Times Bk. Review). Hrabal's novel Closely Watched Trains (1965) was made into an internationally successful movie. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Bohumil Hrabal

Too Loud a Solitude (1990) 1,601 copies
I Served the King of England (1971) 1,356 copies
Closely Watched Trains (1965) 1,021 copies
Cutting It Short (1974) 135 copies
In-House Weddings (1901) 114 copies
The Gentle Barbarian (1985) 77 copies
Vacant Lot/Gaps (1986) 75 copies
Closely Watched Trains [1966 film] (1966) — Screenwriter — 69 copies
All My Cats (1986) 55 copies
The Death of Mr. Baltisberger (1975) — Author — 40 copies
Jan Reich : Praha (1993) — Text — 38 copies
Palaverers (1963) 34 copies
Verpletterde schoonheid (2002) 31 copies
Vuol vedere Praga d'oro? (1964) 31 copies
L’uragano di novembre (1990) 27 copies
Praagse ironie (2007) 26 copies
Pearls of the deep (1977) 19 copies
Verschoven zelfportret (2009) 17 copies
Life Without a Tuxedo (1993) 14 copies
Opere scelte (2003) 13 copies
Drie rabiate legendes (2008) 13 copies
Drie novellen (1997) 12 copies
Adagio lamentoso (1992) 11 copies
Bambino di Praga (2003) 11 copies
Snowdrop Festival (1981) 10 copies
Tři novely (1989) 9 copies
The Gentle Barbarian (2020) 8 copies
Dribbling Stretti (2011) 7 copies
Házimurik (1992) 7 copies
Beste Karel (2018) 7 copies
Die Romane (Quarto) (2008) 6 copies
Macska-maszkabál, avagy (1999) 5 copies
Mi gato Autícko (2016) 4 copies
Pink Cavalier (1991) 4 copies
Básnění (1991) 4 copies
Evangelio esquizofrénico (2018) 3 copies
Piękna rupieciarnia (2006) 3 copies
Spazi vuoti (2010) 3 copies
Perelka na dnie (2012) 3 copies
Poetry Clubs (2010) 3 copies
Die Bafler, Erzählungen (1966) 3 copies
Búvópatakok (1999) 3 copies
Bohumil Hrabals Lesebuch (1981) 3 copies
Terno Bárbaro (2010) 2 copies
Aurora on the sandbank (1992) 2 copies
Muj svet 2 copies
Prague (2000) 2 copies
Home Work (2014) 2 copies
Pabeni (1993) 2 copies
Balony mogą wzlecieć (2009) 2 copies
Bar Świat (1989) 2 copies
A Lost Alley (1991) 2 copies
TRENLER 1 copy
Toba sparta 1 copy
Masinuta 1 copy
Levelek rilkak (1992) 1 copy
Perla dosita 1 copy
Ves ttetek legend (1989) 1 copy
Prvo šišanje (2007) 1 copy
Alcune parole (1990) 1 copy
La perlina sul fondo (2020) 1 copy

Associated Works


1001 (15) 20th century (126) 20th century literature (20) Bohumil Hrabal (15) books (19) books about books (26) communism (22) Czech (338) Czech fiction (61) Czech literature (324) Czech Republic (128) Czechoslovakia (107) Eastern Europe (30) ebook (19) Europe (16) fiction (619) Hrabal (18) humor (26) Lit Hrabal (18) literary fiction (25) literature (157) narrativa (30) novel (176) Novela (18) novella (36) novel·la (19) NYRB (20) NYRB Classics (16) Prague (56) read (59) Roman (44) short stories (46) stories (28) to-read (339) translated (29) translation (68) unread (17) war (16) wishlist (17) WWII (78)

Common Knowledge



Grabbed this from the library the day after watching the classic film version directed by Jiří Menzel. This is a superb novella. Comical and ghastly scenes in and around an unimportant railway halt in the final chaotic days of WWII. The narrator’s anxiety over his sexual awakening parallels the turbulence of the ongoing German retreat amid partisan countermeasures. The morally constipated stationmaster breeds (Polish, not German) pigeons; his wife fattens geese and gives off babushka vibes. Dispatcher Hubička is bald, plain, and a magnet for the ladies, famously applying the station’s range of stamps to the behind of the telegraph girl. Under it all is a collective profound, merciless hatred for the German occupiers and their barbarous ways, and a wish for them to be gone. The ending differs from the film version and is far better, I think.… (more)
yarb | 25 other reviews | Aug 2, 2023 |
It's been a long time since I've read this, and it holds up. As with most of my beloved czech authors, I feel fortified a bit against the constant onslaught of our dysfunctional society.
Kiramke | 45 other reviews | Jun 27, 2023 |
Ho apprezzato Una solitudine troppo rumorosa. Qui, in questa raccolta giovanile, c'è troppo surrealismo e troppo poca narrazione per rendere per me incisiva la scrittura. Sensazione che dovrei sapere di più di Praga e, come dice la sovracoperta, degli anni del Culto, per apprezzare.
d.v. | 1 other review | May 16, 2023 |
A book that begs to be read in one sitting, a drunken monologue rendered by Hrabal in a fantastically erudite and maddening run-on sentence (to which this paltry review pays homage) while the aged, weathered, but oh-so-wise Jirka addresses an unspecified group of "young ladies" on subjects ranging from the role of the Czech monarchy in its heyday, the pursuit of love and sex through Jirka's inebriated and senile recollections ("it's interesting how young poets think of death while old fogies think of girls"), the proper fermentation processes for making different kinds of beer, the strange, tragicomic suicides and deaths that make up the history of his community, the influence of what he calls "the European Renaissance," beekeeping, poetics, Strauss, sexual anatomy and urine and far too many pissing contests, and the meaning of dreams being rather like life itself—the exact opposite and often a puzzling inverse of what one sees and comprehends at first glance.… (more)
proustitute | 10 other reviews | Apr 2, 2023 |



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Peter Sacher Translator
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Rick Vermeulen Cover designer
György Varga Translator
Karl-Heinz Jähn Translator
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Monika Zgustová Introduction
Aleš Jiránek Illustrator
Edith Pargeter Translator
Hans Krijt Translator
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H.P. Doebele Cover designer
Adam Thirlwell Introduction
Joshua Cohen Introduction
Dario Massimi Translator
Willy Fleckhaus Cover designer
Petr Simon Translator
Stacey Knecht Translator
Max Rohr Translator
Jan Burgau Photographer
Gerard Hadders Cover designer
Karl-Heinz Jähn Translator
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