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The year 1993. Janos Dragomán, a wandering scholar, a world-famous and world-weary Hungarian writer, returns to his native town to visit three old friends. They are Aba Kuno, the almost saintly, highly respected rector of the university; Antal Tombor, the charismatic popular showman-mayor; and Kobra, a stable family man who is also a ubiquitous media pundit dispensing "common sense." The three have wives, all eager to be seduced by Dragomán, whose reputation precedes him. Through a series of flashbacks, covering ...

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2000 Hardcover w/Jacket 1st US Edition by Harcourt. Excellent Condition! No Remainder Mark, No Damage, 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

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Overview

The year 1993. Janos Dragomán, a wandering scholar, a world-famous and world-weary Hungarian writer, returns to his native town to visit three old friends. They are Aba Kuno, the almost saintly, highly respected rector of the university; Antal Tombor, the charismatic popular showman-mayor; and Kobra, a stable family man who is also a ubiquitous media pundit dispensing "common sense." The three have wives, all eager to be seduced by Dragomán, whose reputation precedes him. Through a series of flashbacks, covering his intellectually and sexually precocious schooldays, his memories of the life of Jews in 1944, and the 1956 Revolution (brilliantly rendered), we learn that Dragomán inadvertently caused the massacre of six young colleagues. Through the turbulent history of a Central European country, Konrád explores familiar themes and delivers a universal, appropriately ambiguous, message.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Konr d--a past president of International PEN known for his 1970s-era novels criticizing the authoritarianism of Hungary's communism--sets his latest book in 1993, four years after the old regime has been swept away. J nos Dragom n, a famous author similar in some ways to Konr d himself, returns to Kandor, Hungary, a fictional city very much like Budapest. The mayor of Kandor, filmmaker Antal Tombor, is an old friend; the mayor's wife is Dragom n's lover; and his top aide, Sandra, is the wife of the rector of the university, Kuno Aba, who expounds a reactionary blend of politics. These are the relationships that, eventually, set the sometimes lyrical but flawed narrative in motion. Slipping between first- and third-person accounts of Dragom n's past and present, Konr d meanders for the first two-thirds of the book, providing historical background and information about his protagonist. We encounter Dragom n as a youth, with girlfriends; we wade through his bloated, egotistical portrayal of his later years; and we discover that Dragom n, a Jew, is keenly sensitive to the nuances of anti-Semitism. Then, its last third, the plot suddenly crystallizes: at a party that is being filmed by the mayor, Dragom n and Kuno get into an argument about an incident in the 1956 revolt. Dragom n pushes Kuno, sending him flying into a bench and killing him. Readers of Konr d's earlier novels might be interested in this lumbering work; others are advised to seek out those earlier publications instead. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
Konrád, a former President of PEN International, is the Hungarian author of such near-classic introverted political fiction as The Case Worker (1974) and The Loser (1982). His newest novel, a companion and partial sequel to A Feast in the Garden (1992), soberly explores the psyche of Janos Dragomán, a celebrated author (and furtive seducer) whose return to his native village and renewed friendship with three old acquaintances triggers memories of both WWII and the 1956 revolution, and precipitates further violence that throws into vivid relief the deeply conflicted nature of this (probably partially autobiographical) story's intriguing antihero. A grinding, hectoring, occasionally sluggish novel of ideas that demands and, for the most part, repays close attention.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780151006199
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/1/2000
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.24 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.16 (d)

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