"When I started to work at the Golden Prague Hotel, the boss took hold of my left ear, pulled me up, and said, You're a busboy here, so remember, you don't see anything and you don't hear anything. Repeat what I just said. So I said I wouldn't see anything and I wouldn't hear anything. Then the boss pulled me up by my right ear and said, But remember too that you've got to see everything and hear everything. Repeat it after me...I promised I would see everything and hear everything. That's how I began. Every morning at six, when the hotel-keeper walked in, we were lined up like an army on parade, with the maitre d', the waiters, and me, a tiny busboy, along the other side the cooks, the chambermaids, the landress, and the scullery maid. The hotelkeepr walked up and down to see that our dickeyswere clean and our collars and jackets spotless, that no buttons were missing, and that our shoes were polished. He'd lean over and sniff to make sure our feet were washed, and then he'd say, Good morning, gentlemen, good morning, ladies..." --Bohumil Hrabal's I Served the King of England I read the novel, I saw the film, and translating a literary text onto the big screen is difficult to pull off. However,  director Jirí Menzel followed through. The film based on Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal's novel I Served the King of England follows Ditie, who is our delightful and witty story-teller and protagonist, on his ambition to become a wealthy and successful hotel owner (he starts off as a hilarious teenage busboy who clearly sees and hears everything he's not supposed to hear). In the novel itself, Hrabal pays close attention to detail and accuracy in depicting the characters' response to the socio-political situations in Prague during the inter-war period of the 1930s and the Second World War. But all seriousness aside, the juxtaposing features of the comic and the tragic emphasizes the novel's dark humour which makes this satire a delight to read.  This tragicomic novel is a great read. It creatively and philosphically arouses the audience with its picturesque settings, with its sexual awakenings, and with its historical, social, and political commentary weaved in the melancholic and sweet stories. LAST BUT NOT LEAST--watch the film! Directed by Jirí Menzel, it was released in the Czech Republic on January 11,2007. I'm soo happy that I saw it during the Vancouver International Film festival September 2007. I loved it. "Dite, stumbled and twirls like Chaplin or the Marx brothers. A terrific combination of satire and slapstick, keeping us entertained for the length of the movie." trailer: http://www.apple.com/trailers/sony/iservedthekingofengland/ Other books/films to check out: Bohumil Hrabal's Closely Watched Trains (based on the novel) Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and The Joke. CHEERS!!! ~S