All My Cats

All My Cats

3.7 (565 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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A gem of a book about the aggravations and joys of cats from a literary master

In the autumn of 1965, flush with the unexpected success of his first published books, the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal bought a weekend cottage in Kersko, about an hour's drive east of Prague. From then until his death, he tended to a community of cats at his country home. Over the years, his relationship to them grew more intense, becoming a measure of the pressures, both private and public, that affected his life as a novelist.

Written in 1983, this is his confessional chronicle of what happened. It is the story of how a cat lover becomes increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of his life, and his cats, finding himself driven to the brink of madness by both the indulgent love and the resentment he feels. Moving, shocking and honest, All My Cats invites us to grapple with the meaning of love and loss.
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Penguin Modern Classics

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Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 138 x 204 x 15mm | 203g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241422183
  • 9780241422182
  • 272,041

Review quote

One of the great prose stylists of the 20th century; the scourge of state censors; the gregarious bar hound and lover of gossip, beer, cats and women -- Parul Sehgal Hrabal, to my mind, is one of the greatest European prose writers -- Philip Roth Hrabal was, for all his eccentricity, a major figure in 20th-century world literature -- Jonathan Coe The very best writer -- Milan Kundera A most sophisticated novelist, with a gusting humor and a hushed tenderness of detail -- Julian Barnes A stunningly revealing, occasionally deranged exploration of self, with cat ownership the frame through which that exploration is presented, by one of postwar Europe's greatest writers -- Kevin O'Rourke * Michigan Quarterly Review *
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About Bohumil Hrabal

Bohumil Hrabal was one of the most important and admired Czech writers of the twentieth century. He was born and raised in Brno in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914. 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travelling salesman, manual labourer, paper-packer and stagehand, he published a collection of poetry that was quickly withdrawn by the communist regime. 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. In 1997, he fell to his death from the fifth floor of a Prague hospital, apparently trying to feed the pigeons.
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Rating details

565 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 25% (141)
4 37% (208)
3 26% (146)
2 8% (47)
1 4% (23)
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