Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal

Hrabal's postwar classic about a young man's coming of age in German-occupied Czechoslovakia is among his most beloved and accessible works. Closely Watched Trains is the subtle and poetic portrait of Miloš Hrma, a timid young railroad apprentice who insulates himself with fantasy against a reality filled with cruelty and grief. Day after day as he watches trains fly by, he torments himself with the suspicion that he himself is being watched and with fears of impotency. Hrma finally affirms his manhood and, with a sense of peace and purpose he has never known before, heroically confronts a trainload of Nazis.

Milan Kundera called the novel "an incredible union of earthly humor and baroque imagination." After receiving acclaim as a novel, Closely Watched Trains was made into an internationally successful film that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film of 1967. This edition includes a foreword by Josef Škvorecký.
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