The Last Bell

The Last Bell

3.93 (73 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 
3.93 (73 ratings by Goodreads)

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The first ever English collection of stories by Johannes Urzidil - a friend of Kafka and an unjustly overlooked writer

A maid who is unexpectedly bequeathed her employers' worldly possessions when they flee the Nazi occupation; a loyal bank clerk, who falls into troublesome love with a portrait; a middle-aged travel agent, who is perhaps the least well-travelled man in town; a widowed villager, whose 'magnetic' twelve-year-old daughter witnesses a disturbing event; and a tiny village thrown into civil war by the disappearance of a cheesecake. These stories, about the tremendous upheaval which occurs when the ordinary encounters the unexpected, are stunningly told, with both humour and humanity.

This is the first ever English publication of these Bohemian tales, by one of the great overlooked writers of the twentieth century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 120 x 165 x 17.78mm | 181.44g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1782272399
  • 9781782272397
  • 985,186

Review quote

The last great troubadour of a long-lost Prague Max Brod A neat volume of five unusual, arresting short stories, translated from German into English for the first time Country Life Full of unexpected twists that leave you guessing The Lady Bravo to Pushkin Press for rescuing yet another sparkling Central European writer from Anglophone obscurity, and for introducing us to his succinct, sensitive stories. I hope there'll be much more Urzidil to come The Idle Woman (blog) This miniature masterpiece and the other four stories come to us in one voice, that of an inexplicably overlooked Czech master who is only now finding an English-speaking audience. Credit is due to Pushkin Press for rediscovering Urzidil The National
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About Johannes Urzidil

Johannes Urzidil (1896-1970) was a German Bohemian writer, poet, historian and journalist. Born in Prague, he was a member of the Prague Circle and a friend of Franz Kafka's and Max Brod's. He fled to England after the German occupation in 1939, and eventually settled in the United States. Best known during his lifetime for the Prague Triptych collection of short stories and his literary history Goethe in Bohemia, he won several awards for his writing, and even had an asteroid named after him.
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Rating details

3.93 out of 5 stars
- 73 ratings
5 25% (18)
4 48% (35)
3 23% (17)
2 4% (3)
1 0% (0)
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