A Book of Memories: A Novel

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Macmillan, Jul 22, 2008 - Fiction - 705 pages
1 Review
This extraordinary magnum opus seems at first to be a confessional autobiographical novel in the grand manner, claiming and extending the legacy of Proust and Mann. But it is more: Peter Nadas has given us a superb contemporary psychological novel that comes to terms with the ghosts, corpses, and repressed nightmares of Europe's recent past. "A Book of Memories" is made up of three first-person narratives: the first that of a young Hungarian writer and his fated love for a German poet; we also learn of the narrator's adolescence in Budapest, when he experiences the downfall of his once-upper-class but now pro-Communist family and of his beloved but repudiated father, a state prosecutor who commits suicide after the 1956 uprising. A second memoir, alternating with the first, is a novel the narrator is composing about a refined Belle Epoque aesthete, whose anti-bourgeois transgressions seem like emotionally overcharged versions of the narrator's own experiences. A third voice is that of a childhood friend who, after the narrator's return to his homeland, offers an apparently more objective account of their friendship. Together these brilliantly colored lives are integrated in a powerful work of tragic intensity.
 

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A BOOK OF MEMORIES

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An imposing novel of ideas closely related in spirit to the great fictional syntheses of Hermann Broch and Robert Musil, as well as to the autobiographical masterpiece that is its specific inspiration ... Read full review

A book of memories: a novel

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Published in Budapest in 1985 (and later in several languages), this powerful autobiographical novel is Nadas's first appearance in English. In the tradition of Proust, he has composed a psychological ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Péter Nádas is the author of the novels A Book of Memories, The End of a Family Story, and Love. He lives in Gombosszeg, in western Hungary.

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