Too Loud a Solitude | In the Cafe of Lost Youth | The Complete Stories | Mr. Kafka and other tales from the time of the cult | I Served the King of England | The Door | Harlequin's Millions | Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age | Closely Watched Trains
The Little Town Where Time Stood Still contains two linked narratives by the incomparable Bohumil Hrabal, whom Milan Kundera has described as Ã¢ÂÂCzechoslovakiaÃ¢ÂÂs greatest writer.Ã¢ÂÂ Ã¢ÂÂCutting It ShortÃ¢ÂÂ is set before World War II in a small country town, and it relates the scandalizing escapades of MaryÃ Â¡ka, the flamboyant wife of Francin, who manages the local brewery. MaryÃ Â¡ka drinks. She rides a bicycle, letting her long hair fly. She butchers pigs, frolics in blood, and leads on the local butcher. SheÃ¢ÂÂs a Madame Bovary without apologies driven to keep up with the new fast-paced mechanized modern world that is obliterating whatever sleepy pieties are left over from the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire. Ã¢ÂÂThe Little Town Where Time Stood StillÃ¢ÂÂ is told by MaryÃ Â¡ka and FrancinÃ¢ÂÂs son and concerns the exploits of his Uncle Pepin, who holds his own against the occupying Nazis but succumbs to silence as the new postÃ¢ÂÂWorld War II Communist order cements its colorless control over daily life. Together, HrabalÃ¢ÂÂs rousing and outrageous yarns stand as a hilarious and heartbreaking tribute to the always imperiled sweetness of lust, love, and life.ÃÂ
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