Satantango is a monster of a novel: compact, cleverly constructed, often exhilarating, and possessed of a distinctive, compelling vision - but a monster nonetheless...The grandeur is clearly palpable."
"His inexhaustible yet claustrophobic prose, with its long, tight, weaving sentences, each like a tantalising tightrope between banality and apocalypse, places the author in a European tradition of Beckett, Bernhard, and Kafka."
"He offers us stories that are relentlessly generative and defiantly irresolvable. They are haunting, pleasantly weird, and, ultimately, bigger than the worlds they inhabit."
The New York Times Book Review
"The excitement of Krasznahorkai's writing is that he has come up with his own original forms - and one of the most haunting is his first,
Satantango. There is nothing else like it in contemporary literature."
The New York Review of Books - Adam Thirwell
The New Yorker - James Wood
"Krasznahorkai is a poet of dilapidation, of everything that exists on the point of not-existence."
Satantango from devolving into a mere exercise in clever derivation, however, is Krasznahorkai’s fervent mission to thoroughly mine the mysteriousness, and potential miraculousness, of a seemingly corrupt physical reality. His wry, snake-like sentences produce—or unspool—layer upon layer of psychological insight, metaphysical revelation, and macroscopic historical perspective."
"I love Krasznahorkai’s books. His long, meandering sentences enchant me, and even if his universe appears gloomy, we always experience that transcendence which to Nietzsche represented metaphysical consolation."
"His prose is formed like a fractal: self-similar patterns where every sentence exceeds its topological dimensions to become a microcosm of the entire work. We definitely hear Beckett in him."
"On occasion, Krasznahorkai's sentences seem to swell and deflate; each clause seems to twist in its own direction. His sentences are, by turns, lovely, brutal, bombastic, ironic, and precise."
"Krasznahorkai's sentences are snaky, circuitous things, near-endless strings of clauses and commas that through reversals, hesitations, hard turns and meandering asides come to embody time itself, to stretch it and condense it, to reveal its cruel materiality, the way it at once traps us and offers, always deceptively, to release us from its grasp, somewhere out there after the last comma and the final period: after syntax, after words."
"The universality of his vision rivals that of
Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing."
"Krasznahorkai is the contemporary Hungarian master of the apocalypse who inspires comparisons with Gogol and Melville."
"Like something far down the periodic table of elements, Krasznahorkai’s sentences are strange, elusive, frighteningly radioactive. They seek to replicate the entropic whirl of consciousness itself and, in the case of Eszter, to stop its “onward rush” entirely."
New York Times Book Review - Jacob Silverman
"Krasznahorkai produces novels that are riveting in their sinewy momentum and deeply engaging in the utter humanity of their vision."
"His textual ambiguities make any concrete reading of
Satantango nearly impossible, and we are put in the same befuddled, liminal state of mind as the fictional residents themselves: missing the thing by waiting for it."
Los Angeles Review of Books
"He is obsessed as much with the extremes of language as he is with the extremes of thought, with the very limits of people and systems in a world gone mad — and it is hard not to be compelled by the haunting clarity of his vision."
Satantango] is a stunning novel, but it's tough going, an hours-long slog through mud and meaninglessness and superstition that will leave an indelible mark on anyone who gets through it."
"[...] irresistible, unforgettable and required reading."
The Irish Times - Eileen Battersby
"László Krasznahorkai’s novel
Satantango is an argument for the vitality of translation. It is bold, dense, difficult, and utterly unforgettable."
"A writer without comparison, László Krasznahorkai plunges into the subconscious where this moral battle takes place, and projects it into a mythical, mysterious, and irresistible work of post-modern fiction, a novel certain to hold a high rank in the canon of Eastern European literature."
"The serpentine motion that is neither progress nor repetition, the forward and backward steps of the 'tango' explicitly structure
"Whether he's inside the minds and machinations of his characters' scheming heads, tramping through the muddy streets from one ruined destination to another, or speculating on the value of existence under such Godless conditions, Krasznahorkai proves himself to be capable of bringing anything to life,
Satantango's pages are teeming with it."
Satantango, then, as an Eastern European blues album that looks to affirm the coarse texture of life rather than auto-tune it into something smoother or more amendable to wish fulfillment."
"Utterly absorbing–it dramatises with great invention the parching of the human imagination and wrings an almost holy grandeur from a tale of provincial petulance."