The Joke (King Penguin)

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9780140064155: The Joke (King Penguin)

Written and set in 1965 Prague and first published in Czechoslovakia in 1967, the novel opens with Ludvik looking back on the joke that changed his life in the early 1950s. Ludvik was a dashing, witty, and popular student. Like most of his friends he was an enthusiastic supporter of the still-fresh Communist regime in post-World War II Czechoslovakia. In a playful mood he writes a postcard to one of the girls in his class during their summer break. Since she seems, according to Ludvik, to be a bit too serious he writes on the postcard "Optimism is the opium of the people! The healthy atmosphere stinks! Long live Trotsky!" His colleagues and fellow young-party leaders did not quite see the humor in the sentiment expressed in the postcard. Ludvik finds himself expelled from the party and college and drafted to that part of the Czech military where alleged subversives form work brigades and spend the next few years working in mines.

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Product Description:

The Joke, Milan Kundera's first novel, gained him a huge following in his own country and launched his worldwide literary reputation. In his foreword Kundera explains why this completely revised translation is the definitive edition of his work.

'It is impossible to do justice here to the subtleties, comedy and wisdom of this very beautiful novel. The author of The Joke is clearly one of the best to be found anywhere.' Salman Rushdie, Observer

Review:

"A thoughtful, intricate, ambivalent novel with the reach of greatness in it."--John UpdikeA

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Milan Kundera and M.H. Heim
Published by Penguin
ISBN 10: 014006415X ISBN 13: 9780140064155
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
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Book Description Penguin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, BRAND NEW, NOT EX-LIBRARY, shows signs of shelfwear, PAPERBACK ISBN: 014006415X, 288 pages. Written and set in 1965 Prague and first published in Czechoslovakia in 1967, the novel opens with Ludvik looking back on the joke that changed his life in the early 1950s. Ludvik was a dashing, witty, and popular student. Like most of his friends he was an enthusiastic supporter of the still-fresh Communist regime in post-World War II Czechoslovakia. In a playful mood he writes a postcard to one of the girls in his class during their summer break. Since she seems, according to Ludvik, to be a bit too serious he writes on the postcard "Optimism is the opium of the people! The healthy atmosphere stinks! Long live Trotsky!" His colleagues and fellow young-party leaders did not quite see the humor in the sentiment expressed in the postcard. Ludvik finds himself expelled from the party and college and drafted to that part of the Czech military where alleged subversives form work brigades and spend the next few years working in mines. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1490

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