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Train to Budapest Paperback – 1 Jun 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books (1 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906413576
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906413576
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

"One of Italy's finest novelists" - Guardian 'Italy's most audacious female writer' Sunday Times 'Famed for her radicalism of both form and content' Michele Roberts, New Statesman

About the Author

Novelist, poet and playwright, Dacia Maraini has been awarded Italy's top two literary prizes, the Premio Strega and the Premio Campiello. Her fiction, which has been published in 22 countries, includes Woman at War, Isolina, Voices and the worldwide best-seller The Silent Duchess. Darcia Maraini lives in Rome. Author's Website: http://www.dacia-maraini.it

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alice in Wonderland on 17 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The year is 1956. Amari Sironi, an Italian journalist is commissioned to write a series of articles on the post war policital divide in central Europe. She combines this mission with a search for her childhood sweetheart, Emanuele, who with his Jewish parents, was transported by the Nazi regime to Lodz. Amari has an inner belief that Emanuele has survived. Before the family were forced from their home, Emanule wrote letters to Amari, which she carries everywhere with her. She also has an exercise book full of unsent letters which Emanuele had hidden, and which was forwarded to her after the end of the war.

She is aided in her search by Hans, a half Jewish Austrian and Hovath, a kindly librarian whom she has met on her travels and with whom she develops a very close bond. The people they meet in their search all have their own poignant stories to tell, each of which would warrant a story theirself.

But this is not just a Holocaust story. At the heart of this book there is a gripping page turning plot but much more besides.

Dacia Maraini, the author, herself spent three years in a concentration camp at the age of seven because her aristocratic parents would not co-operate with the the facist regime. This depth of understanding of time and place shine through her writing.

This is a book I heartily recommend.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Noble on 30 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Reviewer, Alice, has detailed the story and tells us that the Italian author was her self in a concentration camp as a child. The English translation by Silvester Mazzarella is first class. If you have read Winter in Madrid, Shadow of the Wind and wanted more stories with this flavour, Train to Budapest would satisfy your need. If you were born after WW11 the book is both a history lesson and a remarkable story of cruelty and survival. I urge you to read it and to learn from the experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tracey C on 24 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book before a visit to Budapest. I'd never been to Hungary before and knew very little about the country. As well as teaching me a lot about Hungary's modern history (post WW2), the book kept my interest throughout and was a great read. As well as covering the post war Soviet occupation & 1956 revolution in Hungary, the book touches on the horrors of the Holocaust so it's quite harrowing at times, but a must read if you want to know more about Hungary's history in a concise, easy way!
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By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
It is 1956 and Amara Sironi, a young Italian journalist, just starting out on her career, is sent by the editor of her paper to Eastern Europe to report on living conditions behind the Iron Curtain, and to write about what remains of the suffering caused by the Second World War and the Holocaust. Amara also has an agenda of her own, and that is to discover, if possible, what happened to her childhood friend, Emanuele Orenstein, who was deported with his Jewish family and sent firstly to the Łódź Ghetto in Poland, and then possibly to Auschwitz concentration camp. Amara has a collection of letters from her soulmate Emanuele, that she carries with her all the time; she also has an exercise book filled with Emanuele's writing, which was sent to her after the war, but she does not know if it was sent by Emanuele, whether it was forwarded to her by someone else, or whether Emanuele is dead or alive.

On the long train journey on her way to Auschwitz, Amara meets Hans, a multi-linguist, whose mother was a Jewish-Hungarian, and when Amara carries out a favour for Hans, the pair begin a friendship which involves him in the search for Emanuele. Later, in Vienna where Amara and Hans wait for a visa to Krakow and also a visa for a visit to Budapest, where Hans's father is living, they meet Horvath, an elderly Hungarian librarian, who was captured by the Russians at Stalingrad after being forced to fight alongside the Germans. Horvath, interested in Han's and Amara's quest, decides to travel with them to Hungary and thus the unlikely trio arrive in Budapest and subsequently become caught up in the Hungarian uprising.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 13 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm heading off to Budapest on holiday in August this year so I thought I'd read this book in the hope of gaining a bit of the flavour of life in the Hungarian capital. The book is set in 1956 and is about a young female Italian journalist ,Amara, who sets off behind the "Iron Curtain" in search of a Jewish childhood sweetheart who left Italy for Vienna in 1942 with his family (strange life choice) . This boy sent her letters from the Lodz ghetto before presumably being deported to Auschwitz for extermination. However Amara is convinced that somehow he survived the War and sets off to Auschwitz, Vienna and latterly Budapest in search of him. She meets a couple of men who inexplicably become travelling companions and she arrives in Budapest at the time of the anti Soviet uprising there. It sounds exciting , but this book is a disappointing , flat read. The narrative is mostly told in an annoying present continuous tense and the writing is very dull ,unimaginative and lacking in colour . You never really care about the two dimensional, clichéd characters at all. The only time this book comes to life and engages with the reader is when one or other of the characters recounts life in the Nazi concentration camps and the descriptions provided are quite visceral and emotive. "Train to Budapest" is one of those books that isn't quite bad enough to give up halfway through and discard, but it certainly isn't an involving and memorable reading experience.
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