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Lecții de dans pentru vârstnici și avansați

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,548 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Lecţii de dans pentru vârstnici şi avansaţi este un roman mai degrabă neobişnuit, desfăşurat într-o singură frază spectaculoasă, de un umor incredibil şi o tristeţe apăsătoare, cum sunt, de altfel, toate scrierile lui Hrabal. Monologul fostului pantofar din Lecţii de dans este un bric à brac de personaje şi întâmplări din Cehia de pe vremea Imperiului Austro-Ungar, în ...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published May 2015 by ART (first published 1964)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,548 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: rebels that don't lose steam, ever
This little novella can, at once, be discarded as a long, never-ending chapter on corporeal pursuits from the life book of a mindless rambler, a libidinous exhorter, a senile raconteur. And for some part, one might be right in doing so. If disaster has struck you due to your prolonged exposure to the skin junk processed and reprocessed on electronic and print media, you might not be cajoled to hold back even for a second from trashing this, their way.

But despite my reservations, I sat next to
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: european-novels
This novella is in fact a single sentence, which gives it a breathless feel. It is the recollections of a man in his 70s told to a group of young women who are sunbathing. It is a telling of stories, most of them bawdy. They are about the narrators profession (shoemaking), his time in the army, but most of all his love life. There are lots of references to the European Renaissance, but if you are expecting references to Da Vinci or Michelangelo youd be out of luck; its a euphemism for sex!
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hsk

The delicate swirls of bubbles that dash to greet the robust rim of the glass, the bashful flour that audaciously rises to an aromatic marvel and the musical notes of the hammer as it drums the quiescent nails into colourful leather, only if they had words attached to their expeditions could we have then known the chronicles of a far-fetched yeast and a wooden caricature of an yet unborn shoe. Aren't we lucky to be humans, to be able to knit words into our experiences? Isn't life beautiful even
At work I sit down in a chair and people come to me, sometimes drunk or maybe just schizophrenic, or both, and they talk to me or at me while I putz around the desk and drawers and hunt for pens, Can you give me 3 dollars for the bus? and a promise to pay me back on the first of the month, I always cave, it's amazing how you can train your eyes on someone without actually listening, maybe hearing but not listening, and then from the hum comes a lightning-bolt thought that makes you stop and ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mother of God, isn't life breathtakingly beautiful.

Joel bought me this book several years ago. It appeared so disjointed that I never truly considered it. Today the world was revealed as damp and overcast; reconciling myself to those conditions, Manchester United lost to City 6-1 and I slumped, to be polite. Reaching out, I heartily stumbled upstairs to scan our shelves and returned with Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, coincidentally just as my wife was browsing reviews of such on this
Lee Klein
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good-natured, a little randy, very much free-associative, a waltz of clauses strung together, periodless, though the idea that it's one sentence is a farce, unless "one sentence" is defined as tons of natural end-of-thought stopping/transition spots (deep breaths) marked by commas instead of periods, which, as in Saramago's stuff, particularly Blindness, effectively keeps eyes on pages, propels readers ahead, this sense of ceaselessly continuing created by a comma instead of a full stop, you ...more
Justin Evans
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I'm always fascinated by experiments that just don't work, and here's one: yes, this novella is one unfinished sentence, supposedly. But Hrabal is too good a writer not to compose units of meeting within that sentence, so really it's a bunch of sentences with commas instead of full stops. That's not much of a criticism, because it's very well written (and/or very well translated).

Otherwise, there's not much to say. It's short, it's heartbreaking, it's hilarious, and, as other reviewers have
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this may not be for everyone, its sort of like that old man at the country store, who starts to tell a story, and 3 hours later, he's STILL telling it, with asides, genealogies, history lessons, lies, partial lies, whole truths, and maybe even a conclusion. its funny, some of the reviewers on goodreads say its like talking to a drunk person, but i assure, its just old age. hahaha
Daniel Polansky
I actually read this book last month and forgot to write a review of it, which is odd because it was thoroughly enjoyable. A sustained series of digressions from a drunken cad, delivered (one gathers) to a group of horrified bourgeois bathers. Amorous conquest, military misadventures, the end of the dual-monarchy, whats not to like? Lots and lots of fun, worth your time.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I've been re-reading a lot of Raymond Chandler; in love with noir once again; confirming my younger self's high estimation of his books.

But after three Chandlers in a row, I needed a break. So I turned to Hrabal, one of my favorite authors. I know his books are as fast as Chandler and as smart. So I picked up one I've never read.

This book.

And it IS fast and it IS smart.

But it is reliant on you, the reader, loving the blabber-mouthed, self-important, facetious raconteur who is talking, non-stop,
Khashayar Mohammadi
I think my biggest problem with this book was how strongly it was centered around Czechoslovakian geography and pop culture; and as someone with very little information on the above mentioned subjects I hardly understood the numerous references that appeared at least once a page. I enjoyed the little idiosyncrasies, but it just didn't do it for me.
João Reis
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another gem from Hrabal. In one long sentence, Hrabal describes all the lunacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's last days, the narrator fondness of beauties, the hilarious descriptions of the army, the life in the breweries...
Sep 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The whole book is one sentence. And even then it doesn't end with a period.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My DH introduced me to an old Scots word 'smyster' - to idle sitting over a fire; to talk or laugh to oneself, as in a daydream. It was about as apropos as it comes since I was reading this at the time. I kept imagining some lonesome wrinkly letting loose his torrent of memory and regret over a rapidly depleting bottle of local brew. Of course this image is often peppered with his frequently assumed audience of "ladies". Real or imagined, rapt or captive you decide. It's at times thoughtful bits ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frenetic, ribald, imbued with what I would describe, lamely, as "Czech humor", that is full of gruesome and absurdist references to death and dismemberment. This book is an extended non sequitur on steroids, what the French call a "coq-à-l'âne". Yet there is method in Hrabal's madness, and phrases, characters, digs at the Church and other themes recur in something which resembles a pattern, or a musical form. Although each snippet is anecdotal, you get the feeling that the narrator is not just ...more
May 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A boozy, bawdy, blasphemous blowhard (he'll affront more than one of your sensibilities), Bohumil Hrabal's old Uncle Pepin blathers on ("palaver" is Hrabal's technical term) about his salad days amidst the crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire. The beloved uncle appears elsewhere in Hrabal's ouevre but this is Pepin's solo performance, a bravura performance, hysterical and sad. "It's interesting how young poets think of death while old fogies think of girls."
Kobe Bryant
A guy rambles for 100 pages
Jim Puskas
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: whimsy
Here we have the resurrection of a long standing European tradition of outrageous, tangled, episodic tales, typically told by an aging roué for comic effect. Though miniature in size and spun out in one continuous stream, this novella brought to mind a number of tall tales including We, the Drowned and Jan de Hartogs The Lost Sea (sailors yarns both); and even The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. But best of all, I recall a story called Az Obsitos (The Veteran) ...more
Anirban Nanda
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: woman, humour, war
It's a short book and a long sentence. An old narrator, a cobbler, a brewer, probably named Jirka, is rambling in front a group of beautiful ladies about his adventures and misadventures during his military years, most of which revolved around courting and watching beautiful women and gory details of cruelty imposed by men (mostly on beautiful women). The writing diverges from one thing to another with no apparent cohesion and before you know you may forget what is it you are reading about. Of ...more
Roxana Chirilă
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book consists of (mostly) a single sentence, a long, delirious, old man's rant about his youth spent making shoes and during the war, remembering this and that in a stream of consciousness which contains death, sex, amusing bits, confusing bits, and references to things you've never heard of if you don't share Bohumil Hrabal's nationality.

It's a bit hard to get into, especially since the narrator isn't really coherent at all, but once you get used to it, it's amusing. Unfortunately, since
I wasnt too impressed with this book by Hrabal and obviously too loud a solitude is way way better in my opinion. The book is about a cobbler who seems to seduce many different women and Hrabal tells tales of his exploits in a very humorous way at times but that was about it for me. Again maybe parts of it were lost in translation but I couldnt engage with this short c.100 page book. In many ways it reminded me of the unbearable lightness of being but without the philosophy attached. Short ...more
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Based on the bawdy ramblings of Bohumils uncle, this one sentence ode to memory and lifes charming buffooneries is like running downhill without being able to stop. I honestly believe that this country, much less the world, is a better place now that this book is back in print. Please, sweet lord, bring back 'The Little Town Where Time Stood Still' for us. These books go so very well together. ...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
Czech chatterbox and cathouse lothario breathlessly reminisces about his mishaps with young mistresses, music, his military service, and just about anything else he can think of in a novella that reads rather like rollerskating down a flight of stairs.
Abeer Elfieky
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed translating this novel. after I finished, I felt the old man voice still in my head. it took me some time to get rid of his voice and stories.!
Feb 18, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unreadable. Funny for a few pages, then endless repetition. Did not finish the book/sentence.
Io Nuca
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Oh, those wonderful small Czech stories :)
Mar 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
A few sections slightly entertaining but overall not good.... We all know people who go on and on like this and don't need to read about it. I can imagine someone thinking "I should write this all down and maybe the person would see how absurd it is to listen to it". But of course people who talk like this would likely never read a book. They don't stop talking long enough to read....
Toshi Parmar
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captivating narrative. The fleeting attention span of the narrator resonated almost too perfectly with mine, so that I finished this in one go without any distractions from my thoughts.
This fun quick read has a uniquely fluid narrative style that will keep you entertained and contented throughout and after. I have caught myself quoting some of the more memorable lines, and I think a few of them will thankfully remain as regulars of my internal monologue.
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The funniest thing I've read since the final section of Evan Dara's The Easy Chain...full of bawdy one-liners that play on the semantic ambiguity created by the innumerable dangling clauses in this one-sentence novella--it's great.
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NYRB Classics: Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, by Bohumil Hrabal 1 14 Oct 22, 2013 11:44AM  

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Born in Brno-Židenice, Moravia, he lived briefly in Polná, but was raised in the Nymburk brewery as the manager's stepson.

Hrabal received a Law degree from Prague's Charles University, and lived in the city from the late 1940s on.

He worked as a manual laborer alongside Vladimír Boudník in the Kladno ironworks in the 1950s, an experience which inspired the "hyper-realist" texts he was writing at

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