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Satantango Paperback – 4 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184887765X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848877658
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian writer born in 1954. Krasznahorkai has been honoured with numerous literary prizes, among them the highest award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize and, in 1993, the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work of the year. His novel SATANTANGO was translated by George Szirtes and won the Best Translated Book Award 2013.

László Krasznahorkai is the winner of the 2015 Man Booker International Prize.

Product Description

Review

Intoxicating and exhilarating, bleak yet beautiful, Satantango is a modern masterpiece that manages to speak both of its time and to transcend it altogether --Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph


Regarded as a classic, Satantango is a monster of a novel: compact, cleverly constructed, often exhilarating, and possessed of a distinctive, compelling vision... It is brutal, relentless and so amazingly bleak that it's often quite funny. This is an obviously brilliant novel. Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer... The grandeur is clearly palpable. --Theo Tait, Guardian


This majestic translation finally gives us its inimitable, nightmarish pleasures at first hand --Sunday Times

An inexorable, visionary book by the contemporary Hungarian master of apocalypse who inspires comparison with Gogol and Melville. --Susan Sontag

I fell in love with the fierce, barbed intelligence in his sentences... Krasznahorkai is the kind of writer who at least once on every page finds a way of expressing something one has always sensed but never known, let alone been able to describe. --Nicole Krauss



Intoxicating and exhilarating, bleak yet beautiful, Satantango is a modern masterpiece that manages to speak both of its time and to transcend it altogether --Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph



Regarded as a classic, Satantango is a monster of a novel: compact, cleverly constructed, often exhilarating, and possessed of a distinctive, compelling vision... It is brutal, relentless and so amazingly bleak that it's often quite funny. This is an obviously brilliant novel. Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer... The grandeur is clearly palpable. --Theo Tait, Guardian



This majestic translation finally gives us its inimitable, nightmarish pleasures at first hand. --Sunday Times

About the Author

László Krasznahorkai is a Hungarian writer born in 1954. Krasznahorkai has been honoured with numerous literary prizes, among them the highest award of the Hungarian state, the Kossuth Prize and, in 1993, the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work of the year.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By annwiddecombe on 26 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Krasznahorkai's 1985 debut novel, which seems to have recently risen to the surface again, can stand comparison with some of the best of European literature.

Set for the most part on the last desolate remnants of a failed collective farm, after a locust-plagued summer, it's a hellish vision of impoverished lives that have lost their centre, drifted to a standstill and are now shrouded in little but mud and hopelessness and fuelled by little other than palinka liquor and cigarettes.

The novel focuses on ten or so characters still living - or rather, existing - on the farm, and two men, Irimiás and Petrina, who have previously left and are thought by the villagers to be dead. At the book's beginning, `not long before the mercilessly long autumn rains began to fall on the cracked and saline soil', the villagers seem finally to have come into money via a sale of livestock and are planning to use it to escape. Yet their prevaricating and squabbling and mutual distrust means they get nowhere. When introduced, Irimiás, a self-styled messianic figure in pointed yellow shoes, houndstooth coat and red tie ( based on a malevolent pig castrator the author knew), and Petrina, his jug-eared factotum, are seen to be employed by the state police as informants and involved in an unexplained `project'. These two shadowy men (`I know everything about you,' says the police captain, `...but...I am none the wiser for that') then make their way back to the village where their arrival is met with a mixture of fear and celebration. Needless to say, Irimiás's long-winded promises of rejuvenation, peace and plenty are not quite what they seem.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dick Johnson on 14 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
The residents of the "estate" are trying to brew some type of life out of the dregs of their small town. However, life seemingly left that area some time ago. There are those who will hang on forever in a hope that someone will somehow make things like they used to be. This is probably the case in other countries in real life as it is in the fictional one of the Hungary we read about in Satantango.

The same people tell the same stories over and over, even though others could tell the same stories and maybe do it better. Others go through the same routine motions each day/week. You can set your clock/calendar by their actions. Though they want things to change for the better, of course they don't want to be forced to change. To their credit, they lack that particular ability. Their contribution to the world is based on the way things "were" not on the way things "are".

But, salvation is on the way. A savior will come with the solution to their problems, with the cure to their disease, with their futures secured. Unless he is dead. Or was that just a rumor? Or perhaps it was both a rumor and the truth. He is coming, though. Right? Things will be better then. Right?

Unlike "stream of conscience" stories, he seems to write "stream of description" stories. His narrators have to include every possible word, or set of them, that will explain the thoughts and actions of the characters to the reader. It is like the person who breathlessly begins "let me tell you what happened" and minutes later still isn't done but has to stop to gasp in some air before continuing, and continuing, and .... (As in, "Pull up a seat. This may take a while.")

Thus, we enter the minds of the characters and not only hear their spoken words but also read their thoughts. All of them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Satantango, starts in some mouldering Hungarian hamlet, the home of the workers of a collective long since closed and stripped of anything of worth, and like the inhabitants of the hamlet forgotten by the outside world. In fact the only growth market appears to be rot and spiders, very little happens here. Within the first few pages we realise that the rot has spread to all and sundry, there is not a single character of worth, all are, to varying degrees, corrupt, paranoid and full of loathing whether of self or of their neighbours. We also learn that they are waiting for Irimias, who may or may not be Satan, not that this matters as these individuals are so deep into the morass of all that's bad about humanity, that Satan would be worried about contamination. The villagers wait at the inn for Irimias, who has been seen on the road heading their way with his sidekick Petrina, which is strange because Irimias, is supposed to be dead. Irimias has the ability to charm and mesmerise all to his way, even those who are deeply suspicious of him, still follow his bidding even parting with the collective's small pot of money. This leads to a series of events that breaks what little bonds they once held and violence erupts, although this is brief as all are so ensnared by Irimias machination, that they can see little else.

In a post,I read it stated that " I felt this book had a lot of central European mythology that has been brought to the modern age and also what makes myths..
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