Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera - Book Blog Tour Stop and Review

The Festival of Insignificance (429x648)

About The Festival of Insignificance

• Hardcover: 128 pages
• Publisher: Harper (June 23, 2015)

Casting light on the most serious of problems and at the same time saying not one serious sentence; being fascinated by the reality of the contemporary world and at the same time completely avoiding realism—that’s The Festival of Insignificance.
Readers who know Kundera’s earlier books know that the wish to incorporate an element of the “unserious” in a novel is not at all unexpected of him. In Immortality, Goethe and Hemingway stroll through several chapters together, talking and laughing. And in Slowness, Vera, the author’s wife, says to her husband, “You’ve often told me you meant to write a book one day that would have not a single serious word in it . . . I warn you: watch out. Your enemies are lying in wait.”
Now, far from watching out, Kundera is finally and fully realizing his old aesthetic dream in this novel, which we may easily view as a summation of his whole work. A strange sort of summation. Strange sort of epilogue. Strange sort of laughter, inspired by our time, which is comical because it has lost all sense of humor. What more can we say? Nothing. Just read.
My Thoughts:
I approached this book with a little trepidation.  After all, all the French I know is what I've forgotten from high school French class. However, with this translation (by the adept Linda Asher) I was soon pulled into a classic study of characters and a story about ... well, being insignificant!
Author Milan Kundera weaves a fascinating story of a group of men who seem to be struggling to find anything in life that will give them hope that they will be somehow significant in someone's life. There are characters you will loathe, some you will pity, and then there is the unusual inclusion of Stalin, who Kundera makes out to be a jolly little trickster! Weird, but it works in this setting.
This is a thoughtful book for those readers who are ... thinkers who think thoughtful thoughts!
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About the Author

Milan Kundera

The Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, since 1975. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Farewell Waltz, Life Is Elsewhere, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. His most recent novels Slowness, Identity, and Ignorance, as well as his nonfiction works The Art of the Novel, Testaments Betrayed, The Curtain, and Encounter, were originally written in French.

My thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour and to Harper Collins for supplying the review copy.  I was not compensated for my opinion.

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1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

"thoughtful book for those readers who are ... thinkers who think thoughtful thoughts!" I love this description of the book! Thanks for being a part of the tour.