From the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature for “writing that upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history ....”
“Kertész's work is a profound meditation on the great and enduring themes of love, death and the problem of evil, although for Kertesz, it's not evil that is the problem but good.”
—John Banville, author of The Sea
The acclaimed Hungarian Holocaust survivor Imre Kertész continues his investigation of the malignant methodologies of totalitarianism in a major work of fiction.
In a mysterious middle–European country, a man identified only as “the commissioner” undertakes what seems to be a banal trip to a nondescript town with his wife—a brief detour on the way to a holiday at the seaside—that turns into something ominous. Something terrible has happened in the town, something that no one wants to discuss. With his wife watching on fearfully, he commences a perverse investigation, rudely interrogating the locals, inspecting a local landmark with a frightening intensity, traveling to an outlying factory where he confronts the proprietors ... and slowly revealing a past he's been trying to suppress.
In a limpid translation by Tim Wilkinson, this haunting tale lays bare an emotional and psychological landscape ravaged by totalitarianism in one of Kertsz's most devastating examinations of the responsibilities of and for the Holocaust.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - labfs39 - LibraryThing
This short novella by Nobel Prize winning author, Imre Kertesz, is a different approach to the question of responsibility and guilt in the 20th century. The story begins with "the commissioner", the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JimElkins - LibraryThing
Very pallid, even timid evocation of the way that scenes of horror from the past are forgotten. (A concentration camp is turned into a harmless cultural center.) But it's pale, and there is no drama in moments of discovery or search -- passages that Kertesz apparently thinks are very suspenseful. Read full review