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

Dvořák in Love

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  97 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In 1892, at the height of his prodigious powers, Anton Dvorak was persuaded to leave his native Bohemia to come to New York to be director of the National Conservatory for Music. This splendid novel tells the story of Dvorak's utterly requited love affair with America.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 17th 1988 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 1983)
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 Dvořák in Love, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dvořák in Love

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
I read most of Skvorecky's fiction about 20 years ago but for some reason never got round to this one. It is very different to his other work in that it has a biographical element, and is largely about the composer Dvorak and his trips to America that inspired the New World Symphony, but it is far more fun than a straight biography would be, as the narrative baton is passed through various friends, family members and musicians of varying degrees of reliability. Possibly not quite Skvorecky's bes ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trudna książka, w której Škvorecký nie ma dla czytelnika litości – rzuca go w sam środek jakiejś sceny, gwałtownie skacze w czasie i przestrzeni, a kiedy już ten jako-tako zdoła się przyzwyczaić do scenerii i uczestników zdarzeń, przerzuca go gdzie indziej. Warto się z nią jednak zmierzyć i wyłuskać z niej to, co najpiękniejsze. Obraz Dvořáka jako wielkiego kompozytora, ale również zwykłego człowieka, ze swoimi słabościami, tajemnicami, skrywanymi uczuciami. To, co inspirowało go w Ameryce – i c ...more
This fictional account of Dvorak’s life during his years in the U.S. was thought-provoking. Stories were told by various characters who had encounters with Dvorak. He was fascinated with the music of the U.S. and spent time with the black musicians of the day, including Harry T. Burleigh. Although blacks were free then, their struggles were enormous, and this book showed this intimately.

A few passages from the book:

“But the important thing is that Beethoven got performed here at all back then i
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Leah
The story follows Czech composer Antonin Dvorak from Czechoslovakia to the United States (specifically New York and Iowa, allowing for interesting details dedicated to the differing landscapes and behaviors of the folks living in each) in the late 19th-century. The biographical novel is told from many perspectives of varying age, gender, race and opinion of the man and his music. Skvorecky is an obvious fan of Dvorak's music and clearly did research on his personal life, managing to not complete ...more
Robert Wechsler
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: czech-lit
I adored this novel on the second try (the first time, many years ago, I found it too rich). One of the things I appreciated this time around, but not back then, was how Čapekian it is, both in its storytelling (it is story after story after story, much like Tales from Two Pockets) and its cubism (it might be the only cubist biographical novel).

A review I had left in the book faulted it for not presenting Dvořák clearly. How could it? You see him from myriad points of view, but it is not about h
Mike Bruce
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dvorak is one of my favorite composers for pieces like "Slavonic Dances", "From the New World" Symphony, and the "American" quartet (all his quartets are amazing). I read this book to learn more about his life and his adventures during his trip to America where he wrote some of his most famous pieces like the "New World" and the "American", which are largely based on native american and african-american tunes he heard. Read the book if you want to learn more....
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely beautiful. Its method of indirect storytelling is poignant and highly effective.
Czarny Pies
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Skvorecky Fans
I am a great fan of Skvorecky and give this book three stars only because it is not as good as six other of his novels that rate four or five stars (being, The Engineer of Human Souls, the Cowards, the Miracle Game, Ten Rules for Father Knox, The Swell Season and Miss Silver's Past). Choose one of these six as your first Skvorecky novel. Once you have developed a taste for him Dvorak in Love is a very pleasureable read.

Dvorak in Love is an historical love that describes the four years Dvorak spe
Jul 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my top 3 or so favourite books ever. It's just beautifully written, about music and nostalgia and all the best things that America could be at the end of the 19th century. The chapter titled "Jessie in the Oyster Bar" is a perfectly effected vignette.
May 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
Didn't finish. Not worth the effort.
Mainly about Dvorak coming to America. Interesting because of the Negro Spirituals and how they influenced his New World Symphony.
Martha Toll
Here's an article I wrote that discusses Dvorak in Love.
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, czech, musik
Occasionally poignant, occasionally cheesy, nearly always delightful. Made me want to visit Spillville, Iowa; listen to more Dvořák; and read more Škvorecký.
Hmm. Talk about taking liberties with history. Add to that a tin ear for dialog, and you get another book for the abandoned shelf.
Mark Robert
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not quite what I anticipated and a little obtuse but some good drinking stories that make you smile.
Bobby Nelson
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a diversity of opinions on this one! It is fiction, folks; and, as such, I found this to be one of the most memorable and successful life-of-the-composer type novels.
rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2014
Alžběta Franková
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2017
rated it really liked it
Jul 19, 2012
Michaël Wertenberg
rated it liked it
Oct 14, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 06, 2008
Dean Baker
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2009
Feb 04, 2010 is currently reading it
Takes a few pages to catch the thread but it then slides along with humour and insight.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 15, 2010
Julia Dwyer
rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jan 11, 2016
rated it liked it
Mar 15, 2010
rated it liked it
Dec 09, 2011
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rozkosznie przegadana, niczym między dziesiątym a piętnastym kuflem przedniego pilsnera, opowieść o amerykańskiej przygodzie Dworzaków. Pewnie tyle w niej faktów, co w 9 symfonii amerykańskich motywów, ale świetnie się czyta. I jak po takim tozkosznym pijaństwie: głowa boli, w gardle suszy i kompletnie niczego się nie pamięta. Ale bardzo warto było :)
rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Dream in Polar Fog
  • My Name Was Judas
  • The Conductor
  • The French Blue: A Novel of the 17th Century
  • Mozart
  • The Violin Maker: Finding a Centuries-Old Tradition in a Brooklyn Workshop
  • Violin Dreams
  • Domino
  • Woman of Letters: Irene Nemirovsky and Suite Francaise
  • Rich In Russia
  • The Collected Fiction, Vol. 2: The House on the Borderland and Other Mysterious Places
  • Spinners
  • Blood Related
  • Love All
  • Julius
  • Memories of John Lennon
  • The Day After Judgment (After Such Knowledge, #3)
  • Tales from Two Pockets
Josef Škvorecký, CM was a Czech writer and publisher who spent much of his life in Canada. Škvorecký was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1980. He and his wife were long-time supporters of Czech dissident writers before the fall of communism in that country. By turns humorous, wise, eloquent and humanistic, Škvorecký's fiction deals with several themes: the horrors of tot ...more
More about Josef Škvorecký...

Fiction Deals

  • War Brides
    $3.99 $2
  • Bluebeard
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Orphan Train Girl
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Want Not
    $14.95 $2.99
  • Finding Rebecca
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Twelve-Mile Straight
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Cafe by the Sea
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Everybody's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $2
  • The Word Game
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Cats Are Weird: And More Observations
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Wake Up
    $4.99 $2
  • The Way to London: A Novel of World War II
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ask the Dust
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Saving Abby
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vanessa and Her Sister
    $13.99 $2.99
  • The King's Mistress
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Sun (The Northern Lights Series, No 3)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Cove
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Jailbird
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
    $15.95 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fire by Night
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bagombo Snuff Box
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The High Mountains of Portugal
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Cat's Pajamas: Stories
    $7.99 $1.99
  • East Wind: West Wind: The Saga of a Chinese Family (Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck Book 8)
    $17.99 $2.99
  • The Thistle and the Rose (Tudor Saga, #8)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Burgess Boys
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Skinny Legs and All
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Paris Wife
    $11.99 $2.99
  • If I Was Your Girl
    $9.99 $2.99