This autobiographical first novel by a Budapest-born American poet and translator follows the destiny of Attila Nagy, from his Hungarian childhood under the Communist regime and his family's escape to Cleveland following the revolution to his dysfunctional adulthood and unhappy marriage-all of which are redeemed by a lucky tumble into mythology. This deliciously ironic, picaresque tale borders on the bizarre, but Hargitai is a language master capable of effortless shifts from reality to myth, and his hero's quest for fulfillment underscores the sad disparity between what we actually are and what we want to be. This genre-bending novel is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Sister M. Anna Falbo, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo, N.Y.