By Bohumil Hrabal
An amazing imaginative novel. This is exactly what I like. The story is so many different things all at once and there are constant surprises and quirks that make this novel sublime. Everything I have read by Hrabal has been fantastic – did he write anything bad? Freed from commercial constraints it seems he wrote whatever he wanted to write. The only negative is that perhaps I could see the end coming however I am not sure how else he could have ended the novel.
Such a singular, powerful voice throughout and again a different voice from his other books. I started this from London to Paris on the Eurostar very early in the morning so the dream-like tone of the novel was even more pronounced. I enjoyed this very much.
By Bohumil Hrabal AND JG Ballard.
Hrabal’s short novel is a masterpiece. It is a roving collection of anecdotes told by an old cobbler linked together without a pause. So many ideas and images and definitely something you can re-read. It is very different from his other works but it is still Hrabal. I really think he is an imporant writer. Less said about the novel the better – just read and enjoy.
Crash Is a different story. One idea and the jury is out as to whether it is a ‘good’ idea. Seeing cars in a sexual context – who would have thought? Don’t bother reading. The prose made me cringe every ten seconds: it seemed as though (over)written by a thirteen year old and I am doing the thirteen year old a disservice. Martin Amis described Crash as very flawed and as a result just ‘vicious whimsy’. Thankfully my current read has removed the boredom this book caused and the world and its prose are a better place.