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Voyage to Kazohinia Paperback – 27 Sep 2012

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Voyage to Kazohinia is a tour de force of twentieth-century literature, and it is here published in English for the first time outside of Hungary... A massively entertaining mix of satire and science fiction, Voyage to Kazohinia has seen half a dozen editions in Hungary in the seventy years since its original publication and remains the country's most popular cult classic. --Bookmarks Magazine

The opening chapters of Voyage to Kazohinia promise well, as Gulliver, with the same self-satisfaction that he displayed in Swift's original, puts to sea at a time when war between Britain and Italy over the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 appears to be imminent. --Wall Street Journal

Szathmári succeeds in forcing readers to confront the ways citizens of societies accept as truth those precepts that define and enable the society s existence, even at the expense of the individual. --ForeWard Reviews

About the Author

Sandor Szathmari (1897-1974) was among the most extraordinary and elusive figures in twentieth-century Hungarian literature. The author of two published novels and several story collections in his native tongue, he is best known for Voyage to Kazohinia, but he was also a central figure in the Esperanto movement. Publishing in this new language ensured him a measure of international recognition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Why Wasn't This Translated Before?! 21 Oct. 2012
By SusieBookworm (Susanna P) - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm still marveling that this novel was off my radar until I happened across a free copy of the book. Classic dystopian literature is one of "my things," and the ones I find most interesting are those from non-English-speaking countries. Still, I was a little wary about reading this, since lately I've been in a slump with older, especially translated, novels. I also highly did not enjoy Gulliver's Travels this past summer (sadface after the genius of Swift's "A Modest Proposal"), and Voyage to Kazohinia is written as Gulliver's 20th-century travels. Well...I can't believe Kazohinia wasn't published in English before, because it really does rival other classics like 1984 and Anthem in terms of its dystopian awesomeness.

Voyage to Kazohinia is divided into two parts. In the first, Gulliver arrives among the Hins. Their world could be considered utopian, but they lack a lot of the things that make us humans happy (and also angsty and unstable). Pointed jab at communism here? Maybe. It's an ideal world in many ways (so what communism just wants to be), but, like Gulliver, most of us wouldn't actually want to live there. Gulliver's navigation of this strange people is hilarious all the way through, so, except for some parts that include way too much explanatory dialogue, it's highly enjoyable.

Gulliver eventually decides to move in with the Behins, otherwise known as the "insane" Hins. Here the story ceases to be hilarious and is really rather sad. Gulliver fails to see what is obvious to the reader, that the beliefs and idiosyncrasies of the Behins mirror those of our own society. Meanwhile, the Behins appear so illogical that I generally felt like (metaphorically) banging my head against the wall. But, there were still some really funny parts, like when feeding women food becomes symbolic of prostitution. Don't ask, just go read the book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Piece of Classic Dystopian Literature 15 Aug. 2012
By ScarletDawn - Published on
Format: Paperback
Move over "1984" and "Brave New World", a new work of Dystopian literature has been brought to American readers. I was unsure as to what to expect from Sandor Szathmari's work, and what I found was a very enjoyable story. Szathmari creates a world unlike one we have ever known. Many times as I was reading, the story questioned things I had thought I'd known a lot about. Although the story is set in a world different from our own, connections can be drawn, satirizing our own modern world and what it has become. Overall, a very enjoyable read which I recommend to fans of Dystopian literature and curious readers alike!
An Indispensable Addition to the Literary Canon 8 Dec. 2014
By Dr. David Mandler - Published on
Format: Paperback
Sándor Szathmári's Voyage to Kazohinia takes the reader through a series of profound discoveries about the nature of love, war, the economy, party politics, religion, science and, ultimately, the very essence of Humanity (with a capital), which turns out to be nothing more and nothing less than an arbitrary network of social constructs. Gulliver, the protagonist, is ultimately incapable of seeing (much less applying) the lessons inherent in his experiences despite his short-lived epiphanies. Through this convention, Szathmári cleverly forecasts the futility of the novel's own revelatory enterprise in his novel's readers as well. Still, it is precisely the multilayered applicability of Gulliver's various experiences and observations, narrated in an appealingly sardonic and refreshingly clear style, that ends up fostering the necessary critical distance in the reader to engage in meaningful self-reflection. A page-turner for both the adult as well as the adolescent reader, Voyage to Kazohinia is a classic waiting to be discovered by every literate person. This newly translated and profoundly transformative novel ought to be taught in high schools and colleges across the English-speaking world.
--David Mandler, Ph.D.
English Teacher, Author of the short story, "The Loft" (The Loft)
Stuyvesant High School
Five Stars 30 Sept. 2014
By Michael P. Kramer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In line with "Brave new World" and "1984".
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