The Book of Laughter and Forgetting is the first Milan Kundera book that I have read. And when I sit to write the review, I feel a bit lost. The book follows a very unconventional format where it talks about multiple stories. Some sound fictional, some autobiographical and at times suddenly the author takes the first person and starts narrating an incident, or becomes a character in the story. Everything keeps changing with chapters except ‘Prague’, which remains a constant backdrop for all that is mentioned in the book. It does give glimpses of Prague and its people through the ages. I particularly liked the scene of poets meets in Prague. Which kind of can be similar to poets meetings in many other places, with their eccentricities, their professional envy and at the same time their solidarity as a community.
There are a few stories, the ones at the beginning that talk about some of the basic human behaviors. And goes into the core of the issues that dictate our certain types of behaviors. They talk about some not so important people who touched the lives of the protagonist and left an irreversible mark for the rest of the lifetime. The end of the book sounds like a pornographic script. I could relate the relevance of the beginning and the end of the book. Overall it may give an impression of being an abstract book, but it is not abstract, it makes perfect sense when you read it.
Do I like the book, I don’t know? Would I read another of his book, probably No? Am I sounding abstract, call it the effect of reading the book.
Buy this book – The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera at Amazon India.