Nigel Farndale

The Honourable Dumpling

I Served the King of England

By Bohumil Hrabal (Translated by Paul Wilson)

Chatto & Windus 256pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

The narrator of Bohumil Hrabal’s latest novel has a one-track mind. He is a pint-sized waiter working in pre-war Prague – a latterday Tom Jones at once hedonistic, ambitious and morally bankrupt. I Served the Kind of England is an account of his bawdy adventures. It is course-grained, in questionable taste, and thoroughly entertaining.

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