winstons post – the event of the decade

Rarely do I get really excited about a book and a writer but this book and its writer deserve to be shouted about ,this is the latest book from the hungarian writer Peter Nadas ,it took him 18 years to write the three volumes that make up parallel stories and it has taken the translator Imre Goldstein 5 years to bring the book to english .It is 1152 pages long so is one of the longest books in translation .The book covers post war eastern europe from end of war the Budapest uprising in 1956 to the fall of the berlin war .I think this book is probably going be the best insight into living behind the iron curtain in fiction .Its told through a number of characters from Germany , Hungary,with its main focus on two families one German ,one Hungarian there is a in-depth interview with him about the book here .The book is due out in November I will be reviewing it then over three days as three books that make the complete book .I feel this is a strong contender for the 2012 Independent foreign fiction prize as a book of this scale rarely comes round .  I think it’ll take a month for me to  get through the book .

What do you think ? 

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matt Craig
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 20:34:38

    Good luck getting through it in a month! I’ll definitely be picking it up when it’s out but expect it to take at least two months of reading time. Hope you enjoy it. Looking forward to the reviews. Matt


  2. John Self
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 20:52:34

    Glad you’re so enthused about this one, Stu. My proof copy arrived today and I must admit I was more daunted than thrilled. I honestly can’t imagine setting aside the time to read it – unless you or others come back from the battlefield and give it a double thumbs up, that is… Have you read Nadas’s A Book of Memories?


    • winstonsdad
      Aug 28, 2011 @ 09:56:23

      I just pleased to get it John ,I ve not read him before but had book of memories as one to get to tie in with a pile of hungarian fiction I ve got unread at moment ,I knew had time to read it as i m off for two weeks next month to get a good start ,all the best stu


  3. parrish
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 21:17:42

    This should make a fascinating read & Congrats on getting hold of a copy, will be interested in finding out more about this especially with your statement that It’s a contender for the IFF prize.


  4. Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)
    Aug 25, 2011 @ 22:18:11

    I’m so glad you’ve written about Nadas’s work today. I’m going to keep my eye out for international reviews, and, of course for yours.

    I’m becoming more and more interested in postwar eastern european lit.

    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)


  5. Bellezza
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 00:55:27

    You’ve intrigued me so much already with your desciprtion and praise. I dare not begin it now, with the start of school, and Murakami’s 1Q84 (also of the 1,000+ page variety) on the horizon. However, how about a read-along in November when it’s out? Or, do you not wish to be tied to the snail’s pace a read along often requires… 😉


  6. Bellezza
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 00:57:31

    p.s. The cover reminds me of the famous painting The Scream with her mouth opened in that agonized circle…


  7. Nana Fredua-Agyeman
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 10:45:41

    Now you make me want to read a book I would not come into contact with for some time now. At least I’d be looking out for reviews to read. And I begin by searching for the author. thanks Stu


  8. Bellezza
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 12:13:53

    p.p.s. I’ve pre-ordered this on Barnes and Noble for my nook. A book this highly recommended? And this thick? Needs to be on my nook as soon as possible!


    • winstonsdad
      Aug 28, 2011 @ 09:52:08

      Great hope you enjoy it ,I feel it is a book that needs to be read I would do a readalong but was sent it to review when published so have to leave that I may do a read along for his earlier book at some point ,all the best stu


  9. Geosi
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 12:49:45

    Good luck, stu.


  10. Kinna
    Aug 27, 2011 @ 15:52:07

    I have one of Nadas’ books, The Book of Memories on my shelf. It’s also quite huge. I think he delights in in writing epic volumes. I’m not even going to attempt this till I read the one on my shelf. Happy reading!


  11. kimbofo
    Aug 27, 2011 @ 21:47:13

    Sounds like a challenge, Stu! I read Book of Memories in 1998 — after a trip to Budapest — and it was a terrific read. I can’t honestly remember much about it now, but I do know it was the size of a brick and took me a long time to finish.


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August 2011


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