Eric's Reviews > The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
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Aug 26, 07

bookshelves: peteredout

I don't get it. Why all the hype? I found the characters and their situations absolutely uncompelling. I felt like I was reading a movie treatment, a sketch for a scenario. Flat, jejune. And aside from the opening image of the borrowed hat and it's disgraced, airbrushed-out lender, I found very little that was striking or poetic in the prose itself. I'm a huge fan of Kundera's non-fiction (especially Testaments Betrayed, a lyrically erudite book, with an elucidating defense of Kafka from Brod-ism, a paean to Janacek, and a thrillingly brutal demolishment of Adorno's musical writings--plus a thousand other beauties), so I'll give his fiction another go, just not this book.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I found the Unbearable Lightness of Being unbearably heavy, ponderous and pedantic. What art there was was completely destroyed by the essay of explanation that he felt it necessary to follow it with. "Show don't tell," was entirely broken, and I personally felt my intelligence insulted. I do try to give him some leeway for having his art affected by his communist life, but it really was affected quite adversely.


message 2: by Ani (new)

Ani Chaos He is a minimalist...


message 3: by Eric (new) - added it

Eric Aha! That explains it!


Edgar I agree.


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