Extended Audio Sample

Download The Joke Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Joke (Unabridged) Audiobook, 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: June 2012 ISBN:
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 2/4/2014

    " This is my favorite Kundera book. It's funny in an absurd and tragic way. Having spent most of my student days studying Russia & Eastern Europe, there's just something about this that captures the surrealness of the time and place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tomas Bielskis | 1/25/2014

    " What can I say, Kundera's the best--I'm just gonna have to read everything else he's ever written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nickolai | 1/21/2014

    " Sometimes you read a book that comes to you at exactly right timing, and that's exactly what happened to me with this book. A wonderful book and highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donika | 1/20/2014

    " I love Milan Kundera. I mean, it's no Unbearable Lightness of Being, but you can go much more wrong than that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marwan Asmar | 1/11/2014

    " Interesting book of a past era. The translation is very good of the development of cynical characters that have been beaten by the system. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katzova | 1/7/2014

    " Probably Kundera's best book; Less sex, more realism and the usual sarcasm. Absolut necessary reading for those interested in Czech post-war history "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Imagineandcreate | 12/7/2013

    " I am not sure exactly why but this may be my favorite of his works. It starts so subtle and then each cahpter unfolds like a layer of intensity. love story with so many dimensions, it really has nothing to do with love at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Petya | 10/3/2013

    " I guess the first three Kundera books ones reads leave the strongest impression.. and each following one is like a weird repetition of the same motives. I simply got tired, didn't even finish it. Sorry, Anya 8) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert Wechsler | 8/12/2013

    " A very enjoyable, early Kundera novel. Although sold as "definitive" and without the original translator's name (Michael Henry Heim), I don't believe it is as different from the original translation as The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 7/28/2013

    " I like this book almost as much as The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which is really saying something, as the latter is one of my favorite books. Although The Joke is bleak as hell, it is a remarkable book and a remarkably good one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 6/24/2013

    " I was assigned this for a class in college. One of those pleasant experiences that opened many doors for me. I went on to read almost everything else he'd written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alberto | 5/5/2013

    " Gran novela.. con esta se abre paso este gran autor nacido en la antigua Checoslovaquia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heron | 1/11/2013

    " Even better the second time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 10/20/2012

    " Enjoyed it. A very crafted book. Insightful into post-war mindset in the East block. Pretty heavy - but still accessible. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alex Kudera | 10/3/2012

    " A couple of his others are stronger overall, but I'm quite loyal to this one. Came to Kundera late; my Dad caught on to the name similarity very early in Kundera's journey to America (in translation). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 6/26/2012

    " at the time in college it was great....also had an amazing professor explain in it depth "

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About the Author

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, Life Is Elsewhere, Farewell Waltz, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and Immortality, and the short-story collection Laughable Love—all originally in Czech. His more 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.

About the Narrator

Richmond Hoxie has performed on Broadway in I’m Not Rappaport and off-Broadway in The Dining Room, Vienna: Lusthaus (Revisited), To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, and Landscape with Waitress. On television, he appears frequently in all of the incarnations of Law and Order. His film work includes JFK, Still of the Night, Without a Trace, and For Love or Money.