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Summary

All too often, this brilliant novel of thwarted love and revenge miscarried has been read for its political implications. Now, a quarter century after The Joke was first published and several years after the collapse of the Soviet-imposed Czechoslovak regime, it becomes easier to put such implications into perspective in favour of valuing the book (and all Kundera's work) as what it truly is: great, stirring literature that sheds new light on the eternal themes of human existence. This audio edition provides English-language listeners an important further means toward revaluation of The Joke. 

For reasons he describes in his author's note, Milan Kundera devoted much time to creating (with the assistance of his American publisher-editor) a completely revised translation that reflects his original as closely as any translation possibly can: reflects it in its fidelity not only to the words and syntax but also in the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel's narrators. The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic.

©1967 Milan Kundera (P)2012 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"Kundera is the saddest, funniest, and most lovable of authors." (The Times)

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Excellently written, gives nod to male chauvinism

Very well written and very interesting context. incredible insight in to communist and post communist Czechoslovakia. Cannot remove myself from my disdain of treatment of women in life and literature at time of writing.

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  • Emilio
  • 04-09-17

The beginning

Like meeting an old friend after a long absence. If you are familiar with his work, then this is a good place to start your audiobook journey of his fantastic novels. The jumping between characters can otherwise be a bit confusing.

The best part of reading Kundera is the phenomenal insight he brings to the human condition