I Served the King of England

ISBN-10: 081121687X
ISBN-13: 9780811216876
Edition: 2007
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Description: In a comic masterpiece following the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism, Bohumil Hrabal takes us on a tremendously funny and  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 5/31/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

In a comic masterpiece following the misadventures of a simple but hugely ambitious waiter in pre-World War II Prague, who rises to wealth only to lose everything with the onset of Communism, Bohumil Hrabal takes us on a tremendously funny and satirical trip through 20th-century Czechoslovakia. First published in 1971 in a typewritten edition, then finally printed in book form in 1989,I Served the King of Englandis "an extraordinary and subtly tragicomic novel" (The New York Times), telling the tale of Ditie, a hugely ambitious but simple waiter in a deluxe Prague hotel in the years before World War II. Ditie is called upon to serve not the King of England, but Haile Selassie. It is one of the great moments in his life. Eventually, he falls in love with a Nazi woman athlete as the Germans are invading Czechoslovakia. After the war, through the sale of valuable stamps confiscated from the Jews, he reaches the heights of his ambition, building a hotel. He becomes a millionaire, but with the institution of communism, he loses everything and is sent to inspect mountain roads. Living in dreary circumstances, Ditie comes to terms with the inevitability of his death, and with his place in history.

Hrabal worked as a lawyer, clerk, railwayman, traveling salesman, steelworker, and laborer before turning to literature in 1962. In his tragic-comic novels and short stories he concentrates on the everyday lives of ordinary people. Thomas Lask says, "Hrabal shows an offbeat, original mind, a fey imagination and a sure hand in constructing his tales" (N.Y. Times Bk. Review). Hrabal's novel Closely Watched Trains (1965) was made into an internationally successful movie.

Christopher Hadnagy is the lead developer of www.social-engineer.org, the world's first social engineering framework. In more than 14 years of security and IT activity, he has partnered with the team at www.backtrack-linux.org and worked on a wide variety of security projects. He also serves as trainer and lead social engineer for Offensive Security's penetration testing team.

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