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Harvill, 2005 - Budapest (Hungary) - 262 pages
16 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old Gyuri is let off going to school for 'family reasons'. His father has been called up for labour service. Arriving at the family timber store Gyuri witnesses his father sign over the business to the firm's book-keeper with nonchalance and boredom. Two months laters after saying goodbye to his father he finds himself assigned to a 'permanent workplace'. Within a fortnight Gyuri is unexpectedly pulled off the bus and detained without explanation This is the start of his journey to and subsequent imprisonment in Auschwitz. On arrival he finds he is unable to identify with other Jews, and in turn is rejected by them. An outsider among his own people, his estrangement makes him a preternaturally acute observer. FATELESSNESS' power lies in its refusal to mitigate the unfathomable alienness of the Holocaust, the strangeness is compounded by Georg's dogmatic insistence on making sense of everything he witnesses.

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User Review  - brenzi - LibraryThing

”I also glimpsed, directly in front and to the left, some building, a godforsaken railway halt or possibly the signal box for some larger terminal. It was miniscule, gray, and, as yet, completely ... Read full review

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User Review  - tchelyzt - LibraryThing

This extraordinary book, written by a man who experienced Buchenwald Concentration Camp first hand at 14 years of age, illuminates why so many Jews accepted their fate so passively. He describes ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Imre Kertész was born in Budapest, Hungary on November 9, 1929. He was only 14 years old when he was deported with 7,000 other Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in 1944. He survived that camp and later was transferred to the Buchenwald camp from where he was liberated in 1945. After returning to his native Budapest, he worked as a journalist and translator. He translated the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Elias Canetti into Hungarian. He wrote several novels that drew largely from his experience as a teenage prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. His novels included Fateless, Fiasco, Kaddish for a Child Not Born, Someone Else, The K File, Europe's Depressing Heritage, and Liquidation. He also wrote the screenplay for the film version of Fateless in 2005. While his work was ignored by both the communist authorities and the public in Hungary where awareness of the Holocaust remained negligible, his work was recognized in other parts of the world. He received awards including the Brandenburg Literature Prize in 1995, The Book Prize for European Understanding, the Darmstadt Academy Prize in 1997, the World Literature Prize in 2000, and the Nobel Prize for Literature for fiction in 2002. He died after a long illness on March 31, 2016 at the age of 86.

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