Keith Staskiewicz
June 26, 2015 AT 04:03 PM EDT

The Festival of Insignificance

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Milan Kundera
publisher
Harper
genre
Novel

We gave it a B-

The title is no play on words. Milan Kundera’s first novel in 13 years is an exercise in inconsequentiality. Divided into seven sections, each little more than a pencil stroke in the overall narrative, it follows the exploits of five Parisian friends as they attend parties, play practical jokes, and ruminate idly on Kunderian themes like eroticism and Soviet absurdity. The novel’s slightness of being certainly isn’t unbearable—with little over 100 pages to breeze through, you’ll be finished before you know it—but it seems to evaporate from one’s mind at exactly the same speed as it’s being read. B–

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