The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting: A Novel

Paperback | May 3, 1999

byMilan Kundera

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Rich in its stories, characters, and imaginative range, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the novel that brought Milan Kundera his first big international success in the late 1970s. Like all his work, it is valuable for far more than its historical implications. In seven wonderfully integrated parts, different aspects of human existence are magnified and reduced, reordered and emphasized, newly examined, analyzed, and experienced.

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From Our Editors

A masterpiece of contemporary fiction, Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting ranks with the greatest novels of the 20th century. The French author’s other classics, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Identity reflect an intelligence and wit that places Kundera firmly on his own in terms of literary genius. The Book of ...

From the Publisher

Rich in its stories, characters, and imaginative range, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the novel that brought Milan Kundera his first big international success in the late 1970s. Like all his work, it is valuable for far more than its historical implications. In seven wonderfully integrated parts, different aspects of human exi...

The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, since 1975. He is the author of the novelsThe Joke,Farewell Waltz,Life Is Elsewhere,The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,The Unbearable Lightness of Being, andImmortality, and the short-story collectionLaughable Loves—all originally wr...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.72 inPublished:May 3, 1999Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060932147

ISBN - 13:9780060932145

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Customer Reviews of The Book Of Laughter And Forgetting: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from His best? This might be MK's best book - its my favorite for sure
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic This is my favorite Kundra novel, where everything he does well comes together perfectly. This is even better than The Unbearable ... in my opinion. If you're only going to read one work by him, this is a good one.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An inventive, intriguing "novel" Finally I tracked down a copy of Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and it was well worth the effort I put into finding it. This book is definitely hard to describe, and John Leonard tries to explain it quite succinctly as "part fairy tale, part literary criticism, part political tract, part musicology, and part autobiography"—and even that doesn't give the whole story. The first thing that came to my mind while reading this novel was its structural resemblance to Julian Barnes's A History of the World in 10½ Chapters: here, there are seven chapters, which are all thematically related somehow. Most of these stories deal with people within Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia, and political exiles who have escaped to Western Europe. These people mediate on their experiences inside and outside the country, with a great deal of magic thrown in there as well. I must tip my hat to Aaron Asher for his wonderful translation of this text from French. Some great stories here which are very memorable; my personal favourite would probably be Part Five: "Litost," a chapter dealing with a nighttime meeting between some Czech poets at the local Writers Club in Prague, and a university English student witnessing the debate. Kundera just gives a great, fun read here. Hard not to recommend this one.
Date published: 2010-12-06

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From Our Editors

A masterpiece of contemporary fiction, Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting ranks with the greatest novels of the 20th century. The French author’s other classics, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Identity reflect an intelligence and wit that places Kundera firmly on his own in terms of literary genius. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is an intense novel that carefully weaves into the lyrical plot fragments of fairy tales, tidbits of literary criticism, pieces of political rants and even a little carefully placed autobiography.

Editorial Reviews

"The Book of Laughter and Forgetting calls itself a novel, although it is part fairy tale, part literary criticism, part political tract, part musicology, and part autobiography. It can call itself whatever it wants to, because the whole is genius." (New York Times)