This trilogy of novels was the culmination of Karel Capek's career. The novels share neither characters nor events; instead, they approach the problem of knowing peopleof mutual understandingin a variety of ways. Detectives faced with a murder reconstruct the crime, but not the character of the man who was murdered. Three people tell stories about a dying pilot they know almost nothing about; each story is as full of truth as it is devoid of facts. And one man looks back on his life and discovers all the people he might have been. Together, these three short novels form a readable philosophical novel unique in world literature.read more
Reviews for Three Novels: Hordubal, Meteor, An Ordinary Life
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Note: This review pertains only to the novel Hordubal.**Spoiler Ahead**A short, bleak novel regarding the return of a Czech emigrant to his home village after an 8 year sojourn mining anthracite in Pennsylvania.Juraj Hordubal returns to his farm to find that his wife has made wise investments using the money that has been sending home over the years. He also finds that, according to local rumor, she has taken up with the impudent Stepan, a rather shifty hired hand, and is clearly not pleased that Hordubal has returned.Ripe with symbolism (Hordubal's fondness for his cows, with their slow domestic ways, contrasts with Stepan's enthusiasm for sleek, strong horses), Hordubal engages in self-delusion and in futile attempts to once again gain mastery over his home. Ultimately, he cannot escape the reality that his dreams will never be realized. He is murdered by his wife and her lover as he lies helpless, dying of pneumonia. The last portion of the book is an unnecessary account of the murder trial. Except for the denouement, a good, engaging story. 1/03read more
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