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The Ultimate Intimacy

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With the brilliance and humanity that have made him a major figure in world literature, Ivan Klíma, in The Ultimate Intimacy (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), explores the universal themes of love, adultery, and faith. Pastor Daniel Vedra cares for his family and his congregation, ministers to prisoners, and is a sought-after commentator on the rapidly changing society of the Czech Republic. But when a beautiful stranger comes to hear him preach, Daniel soon finds himself falling in love with another man's wife. As his heart stirs, the order that once underpinned Daniel's life begins to unravel. And as a result, he stands to betray everything he has lived for: his family, his vocation, and his God.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 29, 1997 – Daniel Vedra is a man of God. How can he be an adulterer? That's the question that obsesses Daniel and his creator, Czech novelist Klima (Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light), in this brooding novel. Known for fiction that captures the tenor of life in Czechoslovakia during and just after Communist rule, Klima relegates politics to the background, where it haunts the characters' lives from a (largely unexplored) distance. The setting is Prague five years after the fall of Communism. A mild-tempered Protestant minister, husband and father of three, Daniel falls in love with a woman who has begun to attend his services. The effusive Bara reminds him of his beloved first wife, who died young--and she clearly wants him. When their romantic trysts thrust Daniel into a double life, his guilt over betraying his family never rivals his pain over betraying God. When he journeys into the shadowy recesses of his religious convictions, he unveils an even bigger deception: he has been a hypocrite on a much bigger scale than he knew. Daniel's dilemma is engaging, but Klima fails to bring its erotic side to life: the lovers describe their emotions in worn-out platitudes. Furthermore, Daniel's constant self-flagellation--in diary entries, letters to his mistress and in his thoughts--fails to pull its own narrative weight. Still, the novel succeeds in creating a gallery of minor characters whose metaphysical struggles echo Daniel's, and in conveying the anguish of a man who finds that his trusted moral compass no longer guides him.
The Ultimate Intimacy
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Dec 04, 1998
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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