Closely Watched Trains

Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal (1965). As if he doesn’t have enough trouble living in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II, Milos Hrma learns he is impotent during his first sexual encounter. After trying to commit suicide, he returns to his job tending German trains while imagining ways to reassert his manhood. In an alternately funny and sad, lusty and bleak novel, politics and sex merge in a tragic climax that suggests the heroism of the common man.

Total Points: 1 (ALK 1)