Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Laughable Loves” as Want to Read:
Laughable Loves
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Laughable Loves

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  21,838 ratings  ·  1,091 reviews
Laughable Loves is a collection of stories that first appeared in print in Prague before 1968, but was then was subsequently banned. The seven stories are all concerned with love, or rather with the complex erotic games and stratagems employed by women and especially men as they try to come to terms with needs and impulses that can start a terrifying train of events. ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published August 21st 2000 by Faber & Faber (first published 1970)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Laughable Loves, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Simon Actually, the stories were first published in three volumes in 1963, 1965 and 1969. In 1970 Kundera selected 7 of the 10 previously published stories…moreActually, the stories were first published in three volumes in 1963, 1965 and 1969. In 1970 Kundera selected 7 of the 10 previously published stories and republished them as one book.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,838 ratings  ·  1,091 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Laughable Loves
Mutasim Billah
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: czech
“We pass through the present with our eyes blindfolded. We are permitted merely to sense and guess at what we are actually experiencing. Only later when the cloth is untied can we glance at the past and find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has.”

One of Kundera's earlier works, Laughable Loves is a collection of short stories that illustrate familiar themes of sexual politics and seduction using his trademark dark humor. Each story is marked with a stroke of tragic nuance from the
Steven Godin
This collection of seven artful stories which were rich in philosophising, eroticism, cynicism and humour, really does show Milan Kundera at his very best. And of the six Kundera books I've now read I'd say this was almost on a par with my favourite, Immortality. Generally speaking, these stories mostly deal with the consolation of middle-class Central European men, who, fueled by desire and sometimes despair, are out to impress each other by seducing women, both the adoring young, and the ...more
Short stories from Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. These stories are fiction, of course, with the subject matter typically dealing with romance, sex, and relationships. It's an easy, enjoyable read, but there's a genius to it, in that the stories contain so many lessons, that if they weren't fictionalized, the book could appropriately be labeled self-help, philosophy, or psychology. (Most of the stories contain some combination of the three.) In this sense, Kundera ...more
Feb 25, 2007 added it
Shelves: ivereaden
how can somebody be so clever to create stories from things we don't think would deserve to be a story!
Natanya Epstein
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Kundera is a beautiful writer but that is my only positive comment on the matter. This man is so far beyond sexist, there is no word for it. HIs depictions of women are not necessarily filled with sexist language - they are just totally devoid of respect. Kundera seems incapable of seeing women as anything other than sex objects. Every story, every female character, and every male character revolve around the same abusive sex game of cat-and-mouse. It gets old.
Feb 17, 2007 rated it liked it
I like Kundra because he doesn’t imprison me in a fastened frame of a classic narration. Reading Kundra seems as if you meet an old friend after ages in a cafe shop, and while she/he relates her / his life story, you zip your coffee, listen to the cafe music, hear some chats and laughs at nabouring tables, look at the peddlers at side walk, or a passing tramvay, … as life is flowing around, ….

کوندرا را به این دلیل بسیار دوست دارم که مرا در چهارچوب بسته ی یک روایت زندانی نمی کند. خواندن کونرا
May 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
well, though i'm currently not quite winning at the game of love, it's some consolation to know that the rest of the human race is losing right along with me. and isn't that just hilarious??

Oct 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Little white lies turn into existential crises, and hefty debates arise between knowledge and truth: It's Kundera. As one of his earlier works, Laughable Loves is more simple and honest than others that I've read, and therefore extremely subtle its nuances. It's not as beautiful as his later writing, but there's beauty in that.

Kundera is a master at pointing out the flaws in intimate relationships that nobody ever cares to mention: the love of impossible imperfections, the desire to cheat (and
Jul 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who've already read some Kundera
Laughable Loves is one of Kundera's earlier works, published in 1969, and like many of Kundera's novels (this one is a collection of seven short stories), love, relationships and sex are masterfully dissected. Sexual attraction is a major theme in this collection - we see men and women weave their way through complex erotic games, reaching out for success; for maturity; for a rekindling of youth; for social status; for love...

I found the first story weak but the quality picked up thereafter. I
Sumirti Singaravel
I never expected that this book by Kundera would be so captivating, that it almost transfixed me in one place for one whole night and left me laughing. Human relationships, its intricacy and playfulness along with the subsisting absurdity which almost always creeps in, is excellently portrayed by Kundera. There is a doctor who rejects the ostensible proposal of a beautiful nurse to sleep with him although he almost makes out with uglier and older women than her; a young doctor who perfectly ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Life is often brutal and humiliating; it is often blasphemous, funny, irritating."

At least not meeting a book in the wrong time is as equally important as not to meet a person in the wrong time : )
My cover has a naked blue chick on the front.

So, I actually finished this book about two days ago. I never came to write a review. There's no good reason for my delay. I had time to sit and reflect; I had time to sit and write, but I sort of just shut down about the whole thing.

Kundera managed to leave me a little cold here. Maybe it's the weather, all the snow and wind and stuff, all of which I normally love. Our dog likes to roll around on her back in the snow. I like that too. This stuff is
Aug 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
Skeevy misogyny and pseudo-intellectual condescension wrongly marketed as heavy, ~masculine wisdom; an all-access pass to the whinging of desperate man-children, akin to a reddit thread you wish you hadn't expanded. Come on, fellow reviewers, you're better than this. Don't praise Kundera just because you think you should.
Krista Baetiong Tungol
Laughable Loves is a collection of seven short stories written between 1958 and 1968 in Bohemia (a region in present-day Czech Republic), and takes on a dark humor approach to love, relationship, and the actions people make that oftentimes result to tragically comic consequences.

(For a summary of each story, click this Wikipedia link)

I would say Milan Kundera is a prolific writer. He writes descriptively about his characters’ thought process and complex mind-game narratives, as evident in the
Sreyashi Ray
a brilliant blend of philosophy, humor and irony in simple language. Wonderful how Kundera portrays the pathos and tragedies of life through poignant sarcasm that makes one sigh yet with a smile of acknowledgement.
Farhan Khalid
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Can we glance at the past and find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has


I lived like an eccentric who thinks that he lives unobserved behind a wall

The wall is made of transparent glass


These days there's no time for jokes; these days everything is serious


I understood unmistakably that it wasn't within my power to remove the senseless gravity from the whole affair, and that I could dispose of it in only the one way: to blur the traces, to lure them
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
"The worth of a human being lies in the ability to extend oneself, to go outside oneself, to exist in and for other people"
Rlk Kapitan
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kundera writes with an elastic quality that moves the work like a snapping waistband. I appreciate quite heartily the oddity of structure in “Symposium” and how it becomes successful at capturing a reader in spite of/because of this. Plus, with sentences as sublime as “Through the air floated only important words, and Flajsman said to himself that love has but one measure, and that is death. At the end of true love is death, and only the love that ends in death is love.” Or this: “However much ...more
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, eros
I bought this book near Colaba from a roadside hawker. It was an impulsive buy I just loved the cover art 'A nude woman covering herself with her hands'.

"How interesting is that picture!" I thought and immediately bought it.
Surprise!! the stories where are also of great quality and marked a delightful read. Previously my proxy-experience with Kundera's writing was the movie adaptation of "The unbearable lightness of being" (Which I must say does not have the book's playfulness) . But this
Elena (ReasonstoRead)
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book is definitely a quick read yet very thought-provoking. It sort of makes you confront things you might otherwise think about, as well. He very much takes something, a topic, and expands on it very eloquently. What he does with the topics in the book really makes it a real emotional experience. If you have read The Unbearable Lightness of Being, like me, or any other book by Milan Kundera you really have to read this one.

Milan Kundera is fairly good at writing about emotional
Jun 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Even though I'd heard good things about this book, I couldn't get past the flagrant misogyny inherent in the text long enough to see them. It was so offensive I couldn't even finish the last quarter of the book.
Shefali Deshpande
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
that last story did it for me. what a collection. nothing less than 5 stars definitely. if it were possible, definitely more. kundera you are brilliant. my eyebrows were constantly raising while I broke out into smiles involuntarily while reading this.
Amr عزت
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: قصة
"We pass through the present with our eyes blindfolded. We are permitted merely to sense and guess at what we are actually experiencing. Only later when the cloth is untied can we glance at the past and find out what we have experienced and what meaning it has."
Jun 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
Never managed to finish this book, as I found it uninspiring, boring, and littered with the sort of casual misogyny that's so common amongst male "intellectuals." Maybe I'll return to it later, but as of now it seems to drastically pale when compared to The Lightness of Being.
Nazanin Ha
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book from Kundera that I read. I absolutely loved the book; the absurdity of each story, his powerful storytelling skill and ...
N Perrin
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Contains one of the best post-ironic coming of faith stories I've ever read
Melika Rasti
As much as I read his book, more I am impressed by his thoughts and attitudes.. the way he writes is more than amazing and I don't know how to say how much I like him and his style and all his words and I don't know ..I love reading his books and I wish he just keeps on writing and writing and wrting.. I really wish to meet him .. such a far dream but I really wish to meet him..
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
En realidad son 3 y medio, casi 4 estrellas pero no del todo..... y siento que no estoy siendo justa con el libro porque principalmente lo estoy comparando con la otra obra de Kundera que conozco y no desde la perspectiva en general. Pero no puedo evitarlo, tal vez si me hubieran dado el libro con un pseudónimo hubiera disfrutado más los relatos.

De cualquier manera su mayoría las historias son entretenidas, van de temas muy variados pero siempre rondando un romanticismo, pero un romanticismo
May 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
I think the short story is the perfect vehicle for Milan Kundera. Writing a tight, focused narrative is definitely not one of his strengths as a writer, and these stories aren't long enough to get the reader perturbed by that. Also, he can't get overly preachy within the confines of a 40-page short story.

Kundera's main strength, of course, lies in his investigation of psychology through male/female relationships, and then drawing sobering life philosophies fron said relationships. The short
Meriam Kharbat
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Not reading an author's books in their publication order, allows one to notice that some concepts mature, they gain enough importance and weight to fill pages and pages in the more recent work.
Unfortunately, however, the mystery behind this metamorphosis is not something we are yet able to uncover. Perhaps, there lays the beauty of it all, in what Henri Poincaré called the "long, unconscious prior work".

The stories in this book are very rich with such concepts which will make a greater
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Audience
  • Kytice
  • May
  • Spalovač mrtvol
  • Romeo, Julie a tma
  • Closely Watched Trains
  • The Swell Season: A Text on the Most Important Things in Life
  • Pierre and Luce
  • Кутија за писање
  • Zahradní slavnost
  • Blues pro bláznivou holku
  • Edison
  • Smuténka
  • Zanna Bianca
  • واهمه‌ های بی‌ نام‌ و نشان
  • Krysař
  • Memento
  • Všichni žijem' v blázinci
See similar books…
Milan Kundera is a Czech and French writer of Czech origin who has lived in exile in France since 1975, where he became a naturalized French citizen in 1981. He is best known for The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, and The Joke.

Kundera has written in both Czech and French. He revises the French translations of all his books; these therefore are not considered
“Yes, it's a well-known fact about you: you're like death, you take everything.” 361 likes
“A man is responsible for his ignorance.” 290 likes
More quotes…