Popular Hungary Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Hungary

Discover the list of some best books written on Hungary by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Hungary highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3/5

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself. The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, b A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself. The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings. At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan's friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin's summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

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3.3/5

Sisi: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki

In this sweeping and powerful novel, New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki tells the little-known story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, the Princess Diana of her time. An enthralling work of historical fiction set during the Golden Age of the Habsburg court, Sisi is a gripping page-turner for readers of Philippa Gregory, Paula McLain, and Daisy Goodwin. In this sweeping and powerful novel, New York Times bestselling author Allison Pataki tells the little-known story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, the Princess Diana of her time. An enthralling work of historical fiction set during the Golden Age of the Habsburg court, Sisi is a gripping page-turner for readers of Philippa Gregory, Paula McLain, and Daisy Goodwin. Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth - fondly known as Sisi - captures the hearts of her people as their "fairy queen," but beneath that dazzling perception lives a far more complex figure. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, the halls of the Hofburg Palace buzz not only with imperial waltzes and champagne but also with temptations, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue. Sisi grows restless, feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest, where she enjoys visits from the striking Hungarian statesman Count Andrássy, the man with whom she’s unwittingly fallen in love. But tragic news brings Sisi out of seclusion, forcing her to return to her capital and a world of gossip, envy, and sorrow where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows. Through love affairs and loss, Sisi struggles against the conflicting desires to keep her family together or to flee amid the collapse of her suffocating marriage and the gathering tumult of the First World War. In an age of crumbling monarchies, Sisi fights to assert her right to the throne beside her husband, to win the love of her people and the world, and to save an empire. But in the end, can she save herself?

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3.9/5

Orbán: Europe's New Strongman by Paul Lendvai (editor)

Through a masterly and cynical manipulation of ethnic nationalism, and deep-rooted corruption, Prime Minister Orbán has exploited successive electoral victories to build a closely knit and super-rich oligarchy. More than any other EU leader, he wields undisputed power over his people. Orbán’s ambitions are far-reaching. Hailed by governments and far-right politicians as the Through a masterly and cynical manipulation of ethnic nationalism, and deep-rooted corruption, Prime Minister Orbán has exploited successive electoral victories to build a closely knit and super-rich oligarchy. More than any other EU leader, he wields undisputed power over his people. Orbán’s ambitions are far-reaching. Hailed by governments and far-right politicians as the champion of a new anti-Brussels nationalism, his ruthless crackdown on refugees, his open break with normative values and his undisguised admiration for Presidents Putin and Trump pose a formidable challenge to the survival of liberal democracy in a divided Europe. Mining exclusive documents and interviews, celebrated journalist Paul Lendvai sketches the extraordinary rise of Orbán, an erstwhile anti-communist rebel turned populist autocrat. His compelling portrait reveals a man with unfettered power.

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4/5

The Last Wolf / Herman by László Krasznahorkai , George Szirtes (Translation) , John Batki (Translation)

The Last Wolf features a classic, obsessed Krasznahorkai narrator, a man hired to write (by mistake, by a glitch of fate) the true tale of the last wolf of Extremadura, a barren stretch of Spain. This miserable experience (being mistaken for another, dragged about a cold foreign place, appalled by a species’ end) is narrated— all in a single sentence—as a sad looping tale, The Last Wolf features a classic, obsessed Krasznahorkai narrator, a man hired to write (by mistake, by a glitch of fate) the true tale of the last wolf of Extremadura, a barren stretch of Spain. This miserable experience (being mistaken for another, dragged about a cold foreign place, appalled by a species’ end) is narrated— all in a single sentence—as a sad looping tale, a howl more or less, in a dreary wintry Berlin bar to a patently bored bartender. The Last Wolf is Krasznahorkai in a maddening nutshell—with the narrator trapped in his own experience (having internalized the extermination of the last creature of its kind and “ locked Extremadura in the depths of his own cold, empty, hollow heart ”)—enfolding the reader in the exact same sort of entrapment to and beyond the end, with its first full-stop period of the book. Herman, “a peerless virtuoso of trapping who guards the splendid mysteries of an ancient craft gradually sinking into permanent oblivion,” is asked to clear a forest’s last “noxious beasts.” In Herman I: The Game Warden, he begins with great zeal, although in time he “suspects that maybe he was ‘on the wrong scent.’” Herman switches sides, deciding to track entirely new game... In Herman II: The Death of a Craft, the same situation is viewed by strange visitors to the region. Hyper-sexualized aristocratic officers on a very extended leave are enjoying a saturnalia with a bevy of beauties in the town nearest the forest. With a sense of effete irony, they interrupt their orgies to pitch in with the manhunt of poor Herman, and in the end, “only we are left to relish the magic bouquet of this escapade...”

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3.3/5

Memento Park by Mark Sarvas

A son learns more about his father than he ever could have imagined when a mysterious piece of art is unexpectedly restored to him After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained re A son learns more about his father than he ever could have imagined when a mysterious piece of art is unexpectedly restored to him After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family. As his journey progresses, Matt's revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kalman. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt's narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it. Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas's Memento Park--about family and identity, about art and history--a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?

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4.2/5

Ring Of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I by Alexander Watson

An award-winning historian presents a groundbreaking new history of World War I from the perspective of the Central Powers, showing how wartime suffering led not only to the fall of an empire but also to a fundamental breakdown of society. For Germany and Austria-Hungary the First World War started with high hopes for a rapid, decisive outcome. Convinced that right was on t An award-winning historian presents a groundbreaking new history of World War I from the perspective of the Central Powers, showing how wartime suffering led not only to the fall of an empire but also to a fundamental breakdown of society. For Germany and Austria-Hungary the First World War started with high hopes for a rapid, decisive outcome. Convinced that right was on their side and fearful of the enemies that encircled them, they threw themselves resolutely into battle. Yet, despite the initial halting of a brutal Russian invasion, the Central Powers' war plans soon unravelled. Germany's attack on France failed. Austria-Hungary's armies suffered catastrophic losses at Russian and Serbian hands. Hopes of a quick victory lay in ruins. For the Central Powers the war now became a siege on a monstrous scale. Britain's ruthless intervention cut sea routes to central Europe and mobilised the world against them. Germany and Austria-Hungary were to be strangled of war supplies and food, their soldiers overwhelmed by better armed enemies, and their civilians brought to the brink of starvation. Conquest and plunder, land offensives, and submarine warfare all proved powerless to counter or break the blockade. The Central Powers were trapped in the Allies' ever-tightening ring of steel. Alexander Watson's compelling new history retells the war from the perspectives of its instigators and losers, the Germans and Austro-Hungarians. This is the story not just of their leaders in Berlin and Vienna, but above all of the people. Only through their unprecedented mobilisation could the conflict last so long and be so bitterly fought, and only with the waning of their commitment did it end. The war shattered their societies, destroyed their states and bequeathed to east-central Europe a poisonous legacy of unredeemed sacrifice, suffering, race hatred and violence. A major re-evaluation of the First World War, Ring of Steel is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the last century of European history.

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3.5/5

The Golden Age by Joan London

This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee This is a story of resilience, the irrepressible, enduring nature of love, and the fragility of life. From one of Australia's most loved novelists. He felt like a pirate landing on an island of little maimed animals. A great wave had swept them up and dumped them here. All of them, like him, stranded, wanting to go home. It is 1954 and thirteen-year-old Frank Gold, refugee from wartime Hungary, is learning to walk again after contracting polio in Australia. At the Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Hospital in Perth, he sees Elsa, a fellow-patient, and they form a forbidden, passionate bond. The Golden Age becomes the little world that reflects the larger one, where everything occurs, love and desire, music, death, and poetry. Where children must learn that they are alone, even within their families. Written in Joan London's customary clear-eyed prose, The Golden Age evokes a time past and a yearning for deep connection. It is a rare and precious gem of a book from one of Australia's finest novelists.

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3.6/5

Máglya by György Dragomán

Mi történik, amikor egy ország felszabadul? Mindenki megkönnyebbül hirtelen, vagy cipeljük magunkkal a múltunk súlyát? A diktátort fejbe lőtték, rituálisan elégették az elnyomás kellékeit, de a titkokra nem derült fény, a régi reflexek pedig működnek tovább. Bármikor kitörhet újra az erőszak, mert a temetetlen múlt még fájdalmasan eleven. A tizenhárom éves Emma erős lány, Mi történik, amikor egy ország felszabadul? Mindenki megkönnyebbül hirtelen, vagy cipeljük magunkkal a múltunk súlyát? A diktátort fejbe lőtték, rituálisan elégették az elnyomás kellékeit, de a titkokra nem derült fény, a régi reflexek pedig működnek tovább. Bármikor kitörhet újra az erőszak, mert a temetetlen múlt még fájdalmasan eleven. A tizenhárom éves Emma erős lány, tele kamaszos vadsággal. Egyszerre vesztette el az otthonát és a szüleit, de váratlanul felbukkanó nagyanyja magához veszi. Új életében mindennek tétje van: a gyásznak, a barátságnak és az első nagy szerelemnek, bármely pillanat magában hordja a katarzis lehetőségét. Emma a boszorkányos nagymamától tanulja meg a hétköznapok mágiáját és a sorsfordító szertartásokat, ám a saját ereje még ennél is nagyobb: ő talán képes nemet mondani a történelmi bűnre, és kilépni a soha-meg-nem-bocsátás véres örvényéből. A regény családtörténet és történelmi tabló egyszerre. A nyelve sűrű, mégis egyszerű, a részletek varázslatos intenzitása sodró és izgalmas történetté formálódik, leköti és nem hagyja nyugodni az olvasót. A gyermek mindent látó szeme, a kamasz mohó testisége és a felnőtt józan figyelme szövődik össze benne érzéki és érzékeny szöveggé. Rákérdez a titkokra és felébreszti a titkos tudást.

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4.3/5

Unravelled by Anna Scanlon

"No one heard us. They decided not to, to turn their heads away. It was too much to bear. Too much to know. Too hard to swallow. But now that the world knows, now that the world has heard, it all seems so simple, so easy to defray. I screamed and no one heard. Next time, will you be listening?" Aliz and her twin sister, Hajna, are enjoying their playful, carefree and comfo "No one heard us. They decided not to, to turn their heads away. It was too much to bear. Too much to know. Too hard to swallow. But now that the world knows, now that the world has heard, it all seems so simple, so easy to defray. I screamed and no one heard. Next time, will you be listening?" Aliz and her twin sister, Hajna, are enjoying their playful, carefree and comfortable life with their parents in Szeged, Hungary just before the Nazis invade. Seemingly overnight, their lives change drastically as they are transported to the ghetto on the outskirts of the city and then to Auschwitz to be used in Mengele's deadly experiments. After several months of brutal torture, Aliz is liberated to find that she is the only survivor in her family. At not even 11 years old, Aliz must make the journey to San Francisco alone, an entire world away from everything she's known, in order to live with her only known relatives whom she has never met-- a depressed aunt and teenage cousin who is more than ready to escape her mother's melancholy. Told through the eyes of both Aliz and her cousin Isabelle, Unravelled tells a story of survival, hope, family and the lives war and genocide haunt long after liberation. Book trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHDnp...

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4.6/5

The Afterlife of Stars by Joseph Kertes

In the waning months of 1956, while Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets, and incalculable los In the waning months of 1956, while Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets, and incalculable loss to arrive at a place they thought they’d lost forever: home. In beautifully crafted writing that burns with intensity and humour, Joseph Kertes explores displacement and uncertainty in a dark time from the perspective of two boys filled with wonder at the world around them.

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4.4/5

The Habsburg Empire: A New History by Pieter M. Judson

In a panoramic and pioneering reappraisal, Pieter Judson shows why the Habsburg Empire mattered so much, for so long, to millions of Central Europeans. Across divides of language, religion, region, and history, ordinary women and men felt a common attachment to their empire, while bureaucrats, soldiers, politicians, and academics devised inventive solutions to the challeng In a panoramic and pioneering reappraisal, Pieter Judson shows why the Habsburg Empire mattered so much, for so long, to millions of Central Europeans. Across divides of language, religion, region, and history, ordinary women and men felt a common attachment to their empire, while bureaucrats, soldiers, politicians, and academics devised inventive solutions to the challenges of governing Europe s second largest state. In the decades before and after its dissolution, some observers belittled the Habsburg Empire as a dysfunctional patchwork of hostile ethnic groups and an anachronistic imperial relic. Judson examines their motives and explains just how wrong these rearguard critics were. Rejecting fragmented histories of nations in the making, this bold revision surveys the shared institutions that bridged difference and distance to bring stability and meaning to the far-flung empire. By supporting new schools, law courts, and railroads, along with scientific and artistic advances, the Habsburg monarchs sought to anchor their authority in the cultures and economies of Central Europe. A rising standard of living throughout the empire deepened the legitimacy of Habsburg rule, as citizens learned to use the empire s administrative machinery to their local advantage. Nationalists developed distinctive ideas about cultural difference in the context of imperial institutions, yet all of them claimed the Habsburg state as their empire. The empire s creative solutions to governing its many lands and peoples as well as the intractable problems it could not solve left an enduring imprint on its successor states in Central Europe. Its lessons remain no less important today."

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4.1/5

Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor's footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn by Nick Hunt

In December 1933, an eighteen-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe, 'like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar,' on foot from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. The books he later wrote about this walk, A Time of Gifts (1977), Between the Woods and the Water (1986) and the posthumous The Broke In December 1933, an eighteen-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe, 'like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar,' on foot from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. The books he later wrote about this walk, A Time of Gifts (1977), Between the Woods and the Water (1986) and the posthumous The Broken Road (2013), are a half-remembered, half-reimagined journey through cultures now extinct, landscapes irrevocably altered by the traumas of the twentieth century. The brilliant bubble of his writing captures a prelapsarian world of moccasin-shod peasants and castle-dwelling aristocrats, preserved in perfect clarity. But war, political terror and brutal social change lay on the horizon. That bubble was about to burst, and the raw light of the modern world soon to come flooding in. On 9th December 2011, Nick Hunt caught the ferry to the Hook of Holland to follow in his footsteps. Using Fermor's books as his only travel guide he spent seven months walking his route through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, to discover for himself what remained of hospitality, kindness to strangers, freedom, wildness, adventure, the mysterious, the unknown, the deeper currents of myth and story that still flow beneath Europe's surface. I'd been walking for two hundred and twenty days. With the twists and turns the road had taken it was impossible to say how far; two and a half thousand miles was my rough guess. I'd passed through eight countries and three seasons, followed two major rivers and dozens of minor ones, and crossed three mountain ranges, one of them twice. I'd picked up fragments of seven languages, and met more people than I could remember. I'd walked through three books: two real, one imagined. I'd worn one pair of boots.

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3.3/5

The Manhattan Project by László Krasznahorkai , John Batki (Translation) , Ornan Rotem (Photographs)

Internationally celebrated Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai has been heralded by Susan Sontag as “the Hungarian master of the apocalypse” and compared favorably to Gogol by W. G. Sebald. A new work by Krasznahorkai is always an event, and The Manhattan Project is no less. As part of Krasznahorkai’s fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars a Internationally celebrated Hungarian novelist László Krasznahorkai has been heralded by Susan Sontag as “the Hungarian master of the apocalypse” and compared favorably to Gogol by W. G. Sebald. A new work by Krasznahorkai is always an event, and The Manhattan Project is no less. As part of Krasznahorkai’s fellowship at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, he has been working on a novella inspired by a reading of Moby-Dick. Yet, as he follows in Herman Melville’s footsteps, a second book alongside the original novella took shape. The Manhattan Project is that book. Offering a unique account of a great literary mind at work, Krasznahorkai reveals here the incidences and coincidences that shape his process of writing and creating. The Manhattan Project explores the act of creation through the lens of Krasznahorkai’s encounter with Melville, and it places this vision alongside the work of others who have crossed Melville’s path, both literally and fictionally. Presented alongside Krasznahorkai’s text are photographs by Ornan Rotem, which trace the encounters of writers and artists with Melville as they crisscross Manhattan, driven by a hunger to unlock the city’s inscrutable ways. As Krasznahorkai goes in search of Melville, we journey along with him on the quest for the secret of creativity. The Manhattan Project provides a rare understanding of great literature in the making.

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4.2/5

In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash, comes In the Darkroom, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age. “In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent h From the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of Backlash, comes In the Darkroom, an astonishing confrontation with the enigma of her father and the larger riddle of identity consuming our age. “In the summer of 2004 I set out to investigate someone I scarcely knew, my father. The project began with a grievance, the grievance of a daughter whose parent had absconded from her life. I was in pursuit of a scofflaw, an artful dodger who had skipped out on so many things—obligation, affection, culpability, contrition. I was preparing an indictment, amassing discovery for a trial. But somewhere along the line, the prosecutor became a witness.” So begins Susan Faludi’s extraordinary inquiry into the meaning of identity in the modern world and in her own haunted family saga. When the feminist writer learned that her 76-year-old father—long estranged and living in Hungary—had undergone sex reassignment surgery, that investigation would turn personal and urgent. How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known, the photographer who’d built his career on the alteration of images? Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her suburban childhood and her father’s many previous incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest. When the author travels to Hungary to reunite with her father, she drops into a labyrinth of dark histories and dangerous politics in a country hell-bent on repressing its past and constructing a fanciful—and virulent—nationhood. The search for identity that has transfixed our century was proving as treacherous for nations as for individuals. Faludi’s struggle to come to grips with her father’s metamorphosis self takes her across borders—historical, political, religious, sexual--to bring her face to face with the question of the age: Is identity something you “choose,” or is it the very thing you can’t escape?

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3.6/5

The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914 by Béla Zombory-Moldován , Peter Zombory-Moldovan (Translation)

Publishing during the 100th Anniversary of World War I   An NYRB Classics Original   The budding young Hungarian artist Béla Zombory-Moldován was abroad on holiday when World War I broke out in August 1914. Called up by the army, he soon found himself hundreds of miles away, advancing on Russian lines—or perhaps on his own lines—and facing relentless rifle and artillery f Publishing during the 100th Anniversary of World War I   An NYRB Classics Original   The budding young Hungarian artist Béla Zombory-Moldován was abroad on holiday when World War I broke out in August 1914. Called up by the army, he soon found himself hundreds of miles away, advancing on Russian lines—or perhaps on his own lines—and facing relentless rifle and artillery fire. Badly wounded, he returned to normal life, which now struck him as unspeakably strange. He had witnessed, he realized, the end of a way of life, of a whole world. Published here for the first time in any language, this extraordinary reminiscence is a deeply moving addition to the literature of the terrible war that defined the shape of the twentieth century.

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5/5

The Door by Magda Szabó , Len Rix (Translator)

A busy young writer struggling to cope with domestic chores, hires a housekeeper recommended by a friend. The housekeeper's reputation is one built on dependable efficiency, though she is something of an oddity. Stubborn, foul-mouthed and with a flagrant disregard for her employer's opinions she may even be crazy. She allows no-one to set foot inside her house; she masks h A busy young writer struggling to cope with domestic chores, hires a housekeeper recommended by a friend. The housekeeper's reputation is one built on dependable efficiency, though she is something of an oddity. Stubborn, foul-mouthed and with a flagrant disregard for her employer's opinions she may even be crazy. She allows no-one to set foot inside her house; she masks herself with a veil and is equally guarded about her personal life. And yet Emerence is revered as much as she is feared. As the story progresses her energy and passion to help becomes clear, extinguishing any doubts arising out of her bizarre behaviour. A stylishly told tale which recounts a strange relationship built up over 20 years between a writer and her housekeeper. After an unpromising and caustic start benign feelings develop and ultimately the writer benefits from what becomes an inseparable relationship. Simultaneously we learn Emerence's tragic past which is revealed in snapshots throughout the book.

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3.8/5

Embers by Sándor Márai , Carol Brown Janeway (Translator)

Originally published in 1942 and now rediscovered to international acclaim, this taut and exquisitely structured novel by the Hungarian master Sandor Marai conjures the melancholy glamour of a decaying empire and the disillusioned wisdom of its last heirs. In a secluded woodland castle an old General prepares to receive a rare visitor, a man who was once his closest friend Originally published in 1942 and now rediscovered to international acclaim, this taut and exquisitely structured novel by the Hungarian master Sandor Marai conjures the melancholy glamour of a decaying empire and the disillusioned wisdom of its last heirs. In a secluded woodland castle an old General prepares to receive a rare visitor, a man who was once his closest friend but who he has not seen in forty-one years. Over the ensuing hours host and guest will fight a duel of words and silences, accusations and evasions. They will exhume the memory of their friendship and that of the General’s beautiful, long-dead wife. And they will return to the time the three of them last sat together following a hunt in the nearby forest--a hunt in which no game was taken but during which something was lost forever. Embers is a classic of modern European literature, a work whose poignant evocation of the past also seems like a prophetic glimpse into the moral abyss of the present

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3/5

Fatelessness by Imre Kertész , Tim Wilkinson (Translator)

At the age of 14 Georg Koves is plucked from his home in a Jewish section of Budapest and without any particular malice, placed on a train to Auschwitz. He does not understand the reason for his fate. He doesn’t particularly think of himself as Jewish. And his fellow prisoners, who decry his lack of Yiddish, keep telling him, “You are no Jew.” In the lowest circle of the H At the age of 14 Georg Koves is plucked from his home in a Jewish section of Budapest and without any particular malice, placed on a train to Auschwitz. He does not understand the reason for his fate. He doesn’t particularly think of himself as Jewish. And his fellow prisoners, who decry his lack of Yiddish, keep telling him, “You are no Jew.” In the lowest circle of the Holocaust, Georg remains an outsider. The genius of Imre Kertesz’s unblinking novel lies in its refusal to mitigate the strangeness of its events, not least of which is Georg’s dogmatic insistence on making sense of what he witnesses–or pretending that what he witnesses makes sense. Haunting, evocative, and all the more horrifying for its rigorous avoidance of sentiment, Fatelessness is a masterpiece in the traditions of Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Tadeusz Borowski.

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4/5

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer , Arthur Morey (Reading)

A grand love story and an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war. Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he becomes involved with the letter’s recipient, his elder broth A grand love story and an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are torn apart by war. Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he becomes involved with the letter’s recipient, his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena, their younger brother leaves school for the stage—and Europe’s unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. From the Hungarian village of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras’s garret to the enduring passion he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of a Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the unforgettable story of brothers bound by history and love, of a marriage tested by disaster, of a Jewish family’s struggle against annihilation, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war. Length: 27 hrs and 51 mins

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4.1/5

The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai , George Szirtes (Translator)

A powerful, surreal novel, in the tradition of Gogol, about the chaotic events surrounding the arrival of a circus in a small Hungarian town. The Melancholy of Resistance, László Krasznahorkai's magisterial novel, depicts a chain of mysterious events in a small Hungarian town. A circus, promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world, arrives in the A powerful, surreal novel, in the tradition of Gogol, about the chaotic events surrounding the arrival of a circus in a small Hungarian town. The Melancholy of Resistance, László Krasznahorkai's magisterial novel, depicts a chain of mysterious events in a small Hungarian town. A circus, promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world, arrives in the dead of winter, prompting bizarre rumours. Word spreads that the circus folk have a sinister purpose in mind, and the frightened citizens cling to any manifestation of order they can find - music, cosmology, fascism. The novel's characters are unforgettable: the evil Mrs. Eszter, plotting her takeover of the town; her weakling husband; and Valuska, our hapless hero with his head in the clouds, who is the tender center of the book, the only pure and noble soul to be found. Compact, powerful and intense, The Melancholy of Resistance, as its enormously gifted translator George Szirtes puts it, "is a slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type." And yet, miraculously, the novel, in the words of The Guardian, "lifts the reader along in lunar leaps and bounds."

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3/5

Satantango by László Krasznahorkai , George Szirtes (Translator)

Already famous as the inspiration for the filmmaker Béla Tarr’s six-hour masterpiece, Satantango is proof that “the devil has all the good times.” The story of Satantango, spread over a couple of days of endless rain, focuses on the dozen remaining inhabitants of an unnamed isolated hamlet: failures stuck in the middle of nowhere. Schemes, crimes, infidelities, hopes of es Already famous as the inspiration for the filmmaker Béla Tarr’s six-hour masterpiece, Satantango is proof that “the devil has all the good times.” The story of Satantango, spread over a couple of days of endless rain, focuses on the dozen remaining inhabitants of an unnamed isolated hamlet: failures stuck in the middle of nowhere. Schemes, crimes, infidelities, hopes of escape, and above all trust and its constant betrayal are Krasznahorkai’s meat. “At the center of Satantango,” George Szirtes has said, “is the eponymous drunken dance, referred to here sometimes as a tango and sometimes as a csardas. It takes place at the local inn where everyone is drunk. . . . Their world is rough and ready, lost somewhere between the comic and the tragic, in one small insignificant corner of the cosmos. Theirs is the dance of death.” “You know,” Mrs. Schmidt, a pivotal character, tipsily confides, “dance is my one weakness.”

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3.9/5

Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb , Len Rix (Translator)

A major classic of 1930s literature, Antal Szerb's Journey by Moonlight (Utas és Holdvilág) is the fantastically moving and darkly funny story of a bourgeois businessman torn between duty and desire. 'On the train, everything seemed fine. The trouble began in Venice ...' Mihály has dreamt of Italy all his life. When he finally travels there, on his honeymoon with Erszi, he s A major classic of 1930s literature, Antal Szerb's Journey by Moonlight (Utas és Holdvilág) is the fantastically moving and darkly funny story of a bourgeois businessman torn between duty and desire. 'On the train, everything seemed fine. The trouble began in Venice ...' Mihály has dreamt of Italy all his life. When he finally travels there, on his honeymoon with Erszi, he soon abandon his new wife in order to find himself, haunted by old friends from his turbulent teenage days: beautiful, kind Tamas, brash and wicked Janos, and the sexless yet unforgettable Eva. Journeying from Venice to Ravenna, Florence and Rome, Mihály loses himself in Venetian back alleys and in the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, driven by an irresistible desire to resurrect his lost youth among Hungary's Bright Young Things, and knowing that he must soon decide whether to return to the ambiguous promise of a placid adult life, or allow himself to be seduced into a life of scandalous adventure. Journey by Moonlight (Utas és Holdvilág) is an undoubted masterpiece of Modernist literature, a darkly comic novel cut through by sex and death, which traces the effects of a socially and sexually claustrophobic world on the life of one man. Translated from the Hungarian by the renowned and award-winning Len Rix, Antal Szerb's Journey by Moonlight (first published as Utas és Holdvilág in Hungary in 1937) is the consummate European novel of the inter-war period.

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3.7/5

They Were Counted by Miklós Bánffy , Kathy Bánffy-Jelen (Translator) , Patrick Thursfield (Translator) , Patrick Leigh Fermor (Foreword)

Painting an unrivalled portrait of the vanished world of pre-1914 Hungary, this story is told through the eyes of two young Transylvanian cousins, Count Balint Abady and Count Laszlo Gyeroffy. Shooting parties in great country houses, turbulent scenes in parliament, and the luxury of life in Budapest provide the backdrop for this gripping, prescient novel, forming a chilli Painting an unrivalled portrait of the vanished world of pre-1914 Hungary, this story is told through the eyes of two young Transylvanian cousins, Count Balint Abady and Count Laszlo Gyeroffy. Shooting parties in great country houses, turbulent scenes in parliament, and the luxury of life in Budapest provide the backdrop for this gripping, prescient novel, forming a chilling indictment of upper-class frivolity and political folly, in which good manners cloak indifference and brutality. Abady becomes aware of the plight of a group of Romanian mountain peasants and champions their cause, while Gyeroffy dissipates his resources at the gaming tables, mirroring the decline of the Austro-Hungarian Empire itself. The first book in a trilogy published before World War II, it was rediscovered after the fall of Communism in Hungary and this edition contains a new foreword.

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4.4/5

Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi , Richard Aczel (Translator) , Péter Esterházy (Introduction)

It is 1900, give or take a few years. The Vajkays—call them Mother and Father—live in Sárszeg, a dead-end burg in the provincial heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Father retired some years ago to devote his days to genealogical research and quaint questions of heraldry. Mother keeps house. Both are utterly enthralled with their daughter, Skylark. Unintelligent, unimagi It is 1900, give or take a few years. The Vajkays—call them Mother and Father—live in Sárszeg, a dead-end burg in the provincial heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Father retired some years ago to devote his days to genealogical research and quaint questions of heraldry. Mother keeps house. Both are utterly enthralled with their daughter, Skylark. Unintelligent, unimaginative, unattractive, and unmarried, Skylark cooks and sews for her parents and anchors the unremitting tedium of their lives. Now Skylark is going away, for one week only, it’s true, but a week that yawns endlessly for her parents. What will they do? Before they know it, they are eating at restaurants, reconnecting with old friends, attending the theater. And this is just a prelude to Father’s night out at the Panther Club, about which the less said the better. Drunk, in the light of dawn Father surprises himself and Mother with his true, buried, unspeakable feelings about Skylark. Then, Skylark is back. Is there a world beyond the daily grind and life's creeping disappointments? Kosztolányi’s crystalline prose, perfect comic timing, and profound human sympathy conjure up a tantalizing beauty that lies on the far side of the irredeemably ordinary. To that extent, Skylark is nothing less than a magical novel.

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4.4/5

The Notebook, The Proof, The Third Lie: Three Novels by Ágota Kristóf , Alan Sheridan (Translator) , David Watson (Translator) , Marc Romano (Translator)

These three internationally acclaimed novels have confirmed Agota Kristof's reputation as one of the most provocative exponents of new-wave European fiction. With all the stark simplicity of a fractured fairy tale, the trilogy tells the story of twin brothers, Claus and Lucas, locked in an agonizing bond that becomes a gripping allegory of the forces that have divided "bro These three internationally acclaimed novels have confirmed Agota Kristof's reputation as one of the most provocative exponents of new-wave European fiction. With all the stark simplicity of a fractured fairy tale, the trilogy tells the story of twin brothers, Claus and Lucas, locked in an agonizing bond that becomes a gripping allegory of the forces that have divided "brothers" in much of Europe since World War II. Kristof's postmodern saga begins with The Notebook, in which the brothers are children, lost in a country torn apart by conflict, who must learn every trick of evil and cruelty merely to survive. In The Proof, Lucas is challenging to prove his own identity and the existence of his missing brother, a defector to the "other side." The Third Lie, which closes the trilogy, is a biting parable of Eastern and Western Europe today and a deep exploration into the nature of identity, storytelling, and the truths and untruths that lie at the heart of them all. "Stark and haunting." - The San Francisco Chronicle; "A vision of considerable depth and complexity, a powerful portrait of the nobility and perversity of the human heart." - The Christian Science Monitor.

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4.3/5

The Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnár

The war between two groups of Hungarian boys living in Budapest. One with Hungarian national colours (red, white, green) is defending the square from redshirts (from Garibaldi's redshirts), who want to occupy the square.

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4/5

La herencia de Eszter by Sándor Márai , Judit Xantus Szarvas (Translator)

Instalada en la casa que heredó de su padre y con la sola compañía de una pariente anciana, Eszter es una mujer soltera que vive con la placidez y tranquilidad de quien ha logrado adaptarse a lo que la vida le ha deparado. Hasta que un día, inesperadamente, recibe un telegrama de Lajos, viejo amigo de la familia, anunciando su inminente visita. Canalla encantador y sin esc Instalada en la casa que heredó de su padre y con la sola compañía de una pariente anciana, Eszter es una mujer soltera que vive con la placidez y tranquilidad de quien ha logrado adaptarse a lo que la vida le ha deparado. Hasta que un día, inesperadamente, recibe un telegrama de Lajos, viejo amigo de la familia, anunciando su inminente visita. Canalla encantador y sin escrúpulos, cuyas magníficas dotes de actor le confieren un poder de seducción irresistible, Lajos no sólo traicionó a Eszter, sino también destruyó a su familia y les quitó todo lo que poseían, salvo la casa en la que viven y cuyo jardín es su único y escaso medio de subsistencia. Ahora, tras una prolongada ausencia, Lajos regresa y Eszter se prepara para recibirlo conmovida por un torbellino de sentimientos contradictorios. Con la inevitabilidad del destino como eje central de la narración, La herencia de Eszter se desarrolla de una forma totalmente inesperada y paradójica. El vividor y mentiroso Lajos, con su inagotable energía, es un vendaval de vitalidad, alegría y pasión por la vida que sólo por el hecho de existir pone permanentemente en entredicho la aparente solidez de las convenciones morales más arraigadas. Escrita en 1939, tres años antes de El último encuentro, con la misma prosa depurada y precisa que ha admirado a miles de lectores, esta novela es una pequeña joya que merece su lugar entre las mejores obras literarias del siglo.

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3.3/5

War & War by László Krasznahorkai , George Szirtes (Translator)

War & War, László Krasznahorkai’s second novel in English from New Directions, begins at a point of danger: on a dark train platform Korim is on the verge of being attacked by thuggish teenagers and robbed; and from here, we are carried along by the insistent voice of this nervous clerk. Desperate, at times almost mad, but also keenly empathic, Korim has discovered in War & War, László Krasznahorkai’s second novel in English from New Directions, begins at a point of danger: on a dark train platform Korim is on the verge of being attacked by thuggish teenagers and robbed; and from here, we are carried along by the insistent voice of this nervous clerk. Desperate, at times almost mad, but also keenly empathic, Korim has discovered in a small Hungarian town’s archives an antique manuscript of startling beauty: it narrates the epic tale of brothers-in-arms struggling to return home from a disastrous war. Korim is determined to do away with himself, but before he can commit suicide, he strongly feels he must escape to New York with the precious manuscript and commit it to eternity by typing it all on the world-wide web. Following Korim with obsessive realism through the streets of New York (from his landing in a Bowery flophouse to his moving far uptown with a mad interpreter), War & War relates his encounters with a fascinating range of humanity, a world torn between viciousness and mysterious beauty. Following the eight chapters of War & War is a short "prequel acting as a sequel," "Isaiah," which brings us to a dark bar, years before in Hungary, where Korim rants against the world and threatens suicide. Simply written like nothing else (turning single sentences into chapters), War & War affirms W. G. Sebald’s comment that Krasznahorkai’s prose "far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing."

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4.9/5

La ballata di Iza by Magda Szabó , Bruno Ventavoli (Translator)

Alla morte del marito Vince, un vecchio magistrato, Etelka accetta la proposta della figlia di lasciare la cittadina di provincia dove ha trascorso gran parte della vita e di trasferirsi a Budapest. Iza, una dottoressa molto attiva e stimata da pazienti e colleghi, organizza la vita della madre in ogni dettaglio, eliminando qualsiasi traccia del passato. Poco alla volta l'a Alla morte del marito Vince, un vecchio magistrato, Etelka accetta la proposta della figlia di lasciare la cittadina di provincia dove ha trascorso gran parte della vita e di trasferirsi a Budapest. Iza, una dottoressa molto attiva e stimata da pazienti e colleghi, organizza la vita della madre in ogni dettaglio, eliminando qualsiasi traccia del passato. Poco alla volta l'anziana donna si ritrova come pietrificata in una sorta di non-esistenza, sino a quando non decide di tornare nella cittadina per assistere alla posa di una lapide sulla tomba del marito. Scritto nei primi anni Sessanta, La ballata di Iza ha alcuni punti di contatto con La porta, il romanzo più noto di Magda Szabó: il complesso rapporto fra due donne, la generale incapacità umana di comprendersi e di comunicare, con la storia dell'Ungheria sullo sfondo. Il romanzo conferma cosí la straordinaria bravura della scrittrice, capace di narrare l'insopportabile solitudine di Etelka, il suo lento rinchiudersi e spegnersi, l'incapacità di Iza di immedesimarsi nella madre, con una scrittura lieve ma allo stesso tempo precisa e implacabile, alla quale è difficile sottrarsi.

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3.1/5

Kornél Esti by Dezső Kosztolányi , Bernard Adams (Translator)

Crazy, funny and gorgeously dark, Kornél Esti sets into rollicking action a series of adventures about a man and his wicked dopplegänger, who breathes every forbidden idea of his childhood into his ear, and then reappears decades later. Part Gogol, part Chekhov, and all brilliance, Kosztolányi in his final book serves up his most magical, radical, and intoxicating work. Her Crazy, funny and gorgeously dark, Kornél Esti sets into rollicking action a series of adventures about a man and his wicked dopplegänger, who breathes every forbidden idea of his childhood into his ear, and then reappears decades later. Part Gogol, part Chekhov, and all brilliance, Kosztolányi in his final book serves up his most magical, radical, and intoxicating work. Here is a novel which inquires: What if your id (loyally keeping your name) decides to strike out on its own, cuts a disreputable swath through the world, and then sends home to you all its unpaid bills and ruined maidens? And then: What if you and your alter ego decide to write a book together?

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