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Download The Joke Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Joke (Unabridged), by Milan Kundera
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,042 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Milan Kundera Narrator: Richmond Hoxie Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 favor 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.

The present 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 to the characteristic dictions and tonalities of the novel's narrators. The result is nothing less than the restoration of a classic.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by salvo.smith | 2/17/2014

    " in ketab shahkare ! 100 bar khoondamesh ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Steve | 2/16/2014

    " This is a multi-layered novel with various narrators. On one level it deals with the quashing of individualism by communism, and the central protagonist's long-held desire for vengeance on those who pilloroed him for what amounted to a careless comment. On another, it deals with a romance borne out of a spontaneous need within two individuals to seek solace in the embrace of another lost soul. Kundera deals with these two strands wonderfully and it is the quality of these two aspects which carry the novel. For this reader, the digression offered by the thoughts of the other narrators, and discussion of traditional folk music pale significantly by comparison. As such, the novel holds promise of a gifted writer yet to fully hone his skills. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rowena | 2/5/2014

    " great story. the last part was especially good. i was disappointed that (view spoiler)[he didn't reunite with lucie after all! (hide spoiler)] but it was almost an afterthought because there were other plots (jaroslav). his moravian hometown kind of reminded me of the setting of zelda. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lysergius | 2/4/2014

    " If ever there was an ill-chosen, ill-timed joke this was it. Communists of any nation were not renowned for their sense of humour... A strange mixture of chronicle and Schadenfreude. "

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About the Author

Milan Kundera, the Franco-Czech novelist, was born in Brno and has lived in France, his second homeland, for more than twenty years. He is the author of the novels The Joke, Life Is Elsewhere, The Farewell Party, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, as well as the short story collection Laughable Loves—all originally written in Czech. Like Slowness, his two earlier nonfiction works, The Art of the Novel and Testaments Betrayed, were originally written in French.