The Farewell Party, Milan Kundera


Everyone in this book sucks but it was still fun to read. I think that covers everything Milan Kundera has written. As with The Unbearable Lightness of Being, there’s a dog in this book and he’s important to the plot.

I put this book down five minutes ago and I want to go to bed, so I’ll just briefly elaborate on why all of the characters disappointed me, with an initial caveat that that’s usually what Kundera is going for. My life is a little crazy right now and all of us ‘Stravaganzers essentially live in the Arctic tundra. Today was a long, cold day and one of my favourite people made the trek through the cold to see me. We braved the cold to eat at my favourite Indian restaurant and had an engaging and meandering conversation about politics, and then he walked me home before walking himself home through the ravine. Essentially: we’re not awful people, we enjoy each other’s company, and we don’t suck.

Now juxtapose that with this book. Everyone in this book sucks. They’re tremendously selfish and the way Kundera writes affords the reader insight into everyone’s motivations. Characters you’d hope wouldn’t suck as badly end up sucking really quite a lot. He does that with tremendous skill and the writing is lovely, and as I mentioned before there’s an important dog. This isn’t a bad book at all, but I chose the worst time to read it. What have I learned? Only read Kundera if you’re mad at the world and want to believe in terrible people.

Books read: 8


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