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In Praise of Older Women: The Amorous Recollections of Andras Vajda Hardcover – Aug 1966


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Barrie & Jenkins; First Edition edition (Aug. 1966)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 021466631X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0214666315
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,378,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A funny novel about sex, or rather (which is rarer) a novel which is funny as well as touching about sex... elegant, exact and melodious - has style, presence and individuality." -- Isabel Quigly, Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

The latest 1999 printing is the forty-fourth printing of the English-language edition; it is the fourth printing of the University of Chicago Press edition. Translations of the novel went through over a hundred printings. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I was born into a devout Roman Catholic family, and spent a great part of my first ten years among kindly Franciscan monks. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mkw on 26 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
'My father read "In Praise of Older Women" in the late 1970''s and enjoyed it. So, when I saw it in the shops, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and to see if perspectives had changed over the years. Well from page one I was immediately taken into the world of a young mans view to life and his encounters, especially with women. As I sat outside of a cafe and read the first page I became so absorbed to the point that a waiter had to ask me if I wanted to move inside, as it was starting to rain. I looked up and indeed it was raining. With that I returned to reality. A real page turner right to the end...once again Dad was right. MKW
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Frank Bukowski on 3 May 2014
Format: Paperback
If you only ever read a handful of books in your life, make Stephen Vizinczey’s In Praise of Older Women one of them. I’d certainly have it up there in my top 100. This classic bildungsroman chronicles Vizinczey’s rite of passage from pre-pubescent childhood to sexual enlightenment, through the eyes of his fictional narrator, Andras. Andras’s desperation to lose his virginity, to find the girl and fall in love, is set against the backdrop of the Second World War and the post-war communist bloc. The tale skips lightly over those momentous events, whose effects on the author we can only guess at. Stephen Vizinczey was two years old when his father was topped by the Nazis. Two decades later his uncle was whacked by the communists. Vizinczey fought in the abortive Hungarian Revolution of 1956 before being forced to flee as a refugee. Starts don’t come much tougher. After a spell in Italy Vizinczey ended up in Canada, where he gave up his job as a hack writer to publish this, his first novel, in 1965.

Andras, Vizinczey’s alter ego, plays down his harrowing childhood as though describing a series of days out in a city park. Never once does the tone descend into self-pity or get in the way of chronicling his journey from puberty to manhood. Much of his education he receives at the hands of older women, as the book’s title and dedication page suggests: “This book is addressed to young men and dedicated to older women – and the connection between the two is my proposition.” Like a Twentieth-Century Don Quixote, Andras meets each sexual rebuff, each personal humiliation, each screwed-up relationship with a philosophical shrug before riding off to tilt his lance at some other woman, a little wiser if sadder for the experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An odd mixture of sexual adventure and a partial history of Hungary after America entered WWII and in a sketchy way stretching back into the remote past of Hungary’s military humiliations, mainly at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The sex is not explicit though there are moments of shock and though the cover is one I wouldn’t want to sit reading on a bus, one can see images unlike, but analogous to, in a certain tabloid newspaper. The contents, however, will not trouble anyone over the age of 15.

The emergence of this book caused a stir in the publishing world and it quickly became notorious, praised by people like Brigid Brophy and Anthony Burgess, and numberless European critics. As well as recounting some of his exploits as a young man – mainly trying to get women (mostly older) to go to bed with him, (not all succumb) he also gives us a stirring account of Hungary as a nation fighting against Russian occupation and his disillusionment with his country’s future is complete as he crosses the Austro-Hungarian border and finds refuge in Italy. From there he goes to Canada, finishes his degree, and takes up a post in the remote wilds of Saskatchewan.

This is well written, not prurient, except for one moment near the beginning. Given its subject matter, It is only gently erotic and shouldn’t be dismissed without seeing if it’s to your taste. It’s more interesting than you might think. Margaret Drabble says: “You cannot put it down: witty, moving and it’s all about sex, truly original.” I didn’t see much of a witty nature, but it is more than just an interesting curiosity. I liked it.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Nobody on 14 May 2010
Format: Paperback
If you ask me, "In Praise of Older Women" is a book that every young male should read. From this perspective (and with hope I would've understood it back then) I am really sorry I haven't read it when I was younger. Simply, book is filled with wise sentences and truth about life.

Far from what one can expect after reading title and some of the reviews - this book is not about sex. It is about thoughts and experiences of a young boy as who is walking down the road of becoming a man. In this book you won't find descriptions of explicit scenes that serve no purpose other than to arouse the reader. Every sexual act in this book is a piece of a bigger puzzle - a medium intended to communicate some idea on male-female relationships.

So, if you are looking something worthwhile to read - look no further - pick up this book and join the club of people who are wondering "How come this writer is not more well known?". I am sure that in no time you'll be searching for An Innocent Millionaire and Truth & Lies in Literature cursing publishers because other works of this author are out of print and hard to find.
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