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In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Vizinczey
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

'You cannot put it down: witty, moving and it's all about sex' Margaret Drabble

'A masterpiece ... dazzling ... like all great novels, it shows the truth about life' Le Monde

'At the basis of pleasure, of eroticism, Vizinczey places consciousness. His novel consists of scenes which you can see ... Stupefying: it leaves you breathless with excitement. Here, everything is living ardour, inexhaustible fervour' Giorgio Montefoschi, Corriere della Sera

Product Description


"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

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 704 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006VXI22S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,405 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Read 26 Sept. 2010
By mkw
'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
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my top 100 books of all time 3 May 2014
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex and the Tartar Invasion 31 Mar. 2014
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 14 May 2010
By Nobody
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OWILMLT
Addressed to young men, and dedicated to the more mature lady – as the title suggests – this pseudo-autobiographical tale of the protagonist’s supposed formative years, details his... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit boring and not as good as reviews suggested.
Published 4 months ago by JUNIEB
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The most erotic book I've read, linked to the time of the Russian invasion of Hungary during the 1950's
Published 6 months ago by tawe
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 6 months ago by stone
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
was good not a classic but ok
Published 7 months ago by james carroll
3.0 out of 5 stars I was mostly disappointed by how quickly and easily these women were...
I expected to find this book wholly flattering to the older woman as the title would lend you to believe, but as I got through each chapter I just felt more and more saddened by... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lorns
3.0 out of 5 stars Middling
By no means a great book, but not a bad one either. I was hoping for a My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Errol Flynn type adventure involving exotic women and communist agents and all... Read more
Published 14 months ago by @MagnumPIG
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!
It was very refreshing to have another take on the attitudes toward older women's relationships with younger men. Read more
Published 15 months ago by kerry edward
3.0 out of 5 stars erotic memoir
The book is a bit strange. The writer, while celebrating sex with older women is actually a little coy in the descriptions. Read more
Published on 20 April 2012 by Mr. Malachi O'Doherty
5.0 out of 5 stars modern classic
The book that I ordered was described as new paperback and in stock and I wasn't disappointed. The book arrived very quickly, well packaged and in pristine condition. Read more
Published on 8 April 2012 by janeemily
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