Author(s): Bohumil Hrabal
A classic of postwar literature, a small masterpiece of humour, humanity and heroism from one of the best Czech writers For gauche young apprentice Milos Hrma, life at the small but strategic railway station in Bohemia in 1945 is full of complex preoccupations. There is the exacting business of dispatching German troop trains to and from the toppling Eastern front; the problem of ridding himself of his burdensome innocence; and the awesome scandal of Dispatcher Hubicka's gross misuse of the station's official stamps upon the telegraphist's anatomy. Beside these, Milos's part in the plan for the ammunition train seems a simple affair. Closely Watched Trains, which became the award-winning Jiri Menzel film of the 'Prague Spring', is a masterpiece that fully justifies Hrabal's reputation as one of the best Czech writers of the twentieth century.
Bohumil Hrabal (Author) Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) was born and raised in Brno in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. After working as a railway labourer, insurance agent, travelling salesman, manual labourer, paper-packer and stagehand, he published a collection of poetry that was quickly withdrawn by the communist regime. He went on to become one of the most important and most admired Czech writers of the 20th century; his best-known books include I Served the King of England, Closely Watched Trains (made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Jiri Menzel) and Too Loud a Solitude. He fell to his death from the fifth floor of a Prague hospital, apparently trying to feed the pigeons.