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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Read
'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...
Published on 26 Sept. 2010 by mkw

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was mostly disappointed by how quickly and easily these women were ready ...
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 the sorry tale. The author occasionally littered his experiences with some detail of the era...but there's no getting away from the fact that this was just a horny boy with a penchant for the...
Published 11 months ago by Lorns


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Really Good Read, 26 Sept. 2010
This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 14 May 2010
This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Set of Reminiscences, Exploring the Amorous Drive of Older Women, 24 Nov. 2011
By 
Clifford (Weymouth, Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
The notion that older women make the most interesting and satisfying lovers is one of the most persistent in the general understanding of human relationships, and there are several reasons for believing in its veracity, particularly in cases where their partners are either virginal or barely experienced. This well-established novel explores the possible reasons in the form of an autobiographical account of the amorous progress of a young man from his early pubescence in his native Hungary during the transition from post-Nazi to Soviet occupation. The low priority of sexual mores during such times emerges as a clear influence on him. For me the book recalled the social situations described more ably by the similarly nationally occupied Czechoslovakians Skvorecky and Kundera, even though these authors eschewed the narrow focus of erotic education that dominates Vizinczey's novel. The supposed subject eventually leaves Hungary to pursue an academic career in Canada, opening a broader landscape of human relationships. The sociological backgrounds of the women who contributed to the education of the young narrator, necessarily twisted by their own, possibly atypical, experiences may well have influenced his analysis of their relationships with him, but their variety certainly adds richness to the descriptions of their needs and emotions. It's an interesting book, relatively clinical rather than erotic in its narrative style.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful read, 20 Mar. 2010
This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
I really liked this book. It's basically about the young narrator's (Vajda) many and various sexual encounters with women in their thirties and forties in Hungary, Italy, and Canada. But it's so much more than that. Even though the novel is over 40 years old it's so refreshing to read a book that finds beauty on older women. "One of my chief irritations at the time was the blankness of the faces of my young girl friends," says the young Vajda of one married lover, Maya. "But Maya's face, with the fine lines of her 40 some years, expressed all the shades of her thoughts and emotions."

Vajda's many conquests are set against the various conquests of Hungary by the Austrians, Germans & Russians over the past centuries. It's as if Vizinczey is highlighting that no matter who invades Hungary human beings will continue to seek sex and love. Kingdoms and empires may come and go, promising refreshing newness - but love lives on, especially the love of older women. Especially the love of older women with their experience and history.

Recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "In Praise of Older Women" by Stephen Vicinczey, 13 April 2010
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This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This book first came out in 1965 and swept the country's younger citizens (men usually)with its humorous slant on the allure of older women It has just been re-issued in Penguin Modern Classics. It is unashamedly about sex - in particular the initiation process insofar as it affects boys on the threshold of puberty and younger men.Brilliant stuff, and, bearing in mind that the author's first language is Hungarian, written in beautiful English. A laugh a minute, with some poignant moments, a thorougly excellent and unputdownable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life laid bare, amorous rather than erotic, 6 Dec. 2011
By 
Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
While this book does feature as its central topic sex and relationships I'm unsure that I would agree with some of the blurb on the back of the book that its "All about sex". It is definitely not a work of erotic fiction like any of Anis Nin's fiction or Henry Miller's fiction.

This is in many ways a very open hearted, humane and humanist confession or "life laid bare" to the reader. As such its in many ways very disarming when you are reading it. When possibly more chauvinistic or shocking content emerges, such as the protagonist casually discussing rape with women he aimed to seduce, it seems less repugnant.

The book, as I've said, is not "all about sex", it is a lifestory and rites of passage account in many ways. The protagonist grows up in a reliigous, conservative background and his father is kiled by the Nazis, he grows up with war (much of this reminded me of Ballard's Empire of The Sun), Nazi and Communist oppression, becoming politicised and fighting the communists, despairing of armed struggle and fleeing the country, living as a refugee and then making his way to the US.

This is all quite compelling by itself and really a fine human interest story but our protagonist is clear, while all these events have shaped his destiny his greatest drive is towards living life and enjoying affairs with older women.

He describes early in the book a sort of paradoxical personal utopia which he dreams about, in which he could live simultaneously as a monk and be entertained by a harem of mature ladies.

I would recommend this book of anyone, it really is a great piece of writing which should prove interesting. It is not erotic writing properly so considered, it is milder than some popular publishing (like Kelley Armstrong or Laurel K. Hamilton). I think that female readers could find this as interesting as male readers, I would hope that male or female readers would be equally concerned about the more chauvinistic elements, like opening discussing rape as though it were not threatening to do so. For male readers this could be enlightening and resonate with their experiences, pre-adolescent battles of the sexes, virginity, frigidity (to use an outdated or outmoded term), loneliness, doomed relationships and bad choices borne of high spirits are all here.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love a little, 13 Mar. 2010
By 
Room for a View - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This "fictional" memoir exudes warmth, compassion and acute observation coupled with the cramps of adolescent fantasies and clumsy amorous encounters. To some extent the work reminded me of Casanova's memoirs where this often misunderstood philosopher proclaims his eternal love of being in love. And Vizinczey/Vajda convey a similar attitude to the delights of women, their company and position in society. No surprise that marriage is seen as stifling, infidelity liberating and the passion of the moment all consuming. I enjoyed all Vajda's affairs and his complusion to seek out any opportunity no matter how hopeless it first appeared. For me the hero is immersed in the truth of being in love and not some shallow quest for selfish indulgence and arrogant bragging. Each chapter is headed by a quote and I think the most revealing is Kierkegaard: "The dread of life, the dread of onself..." Vajda lives for love and, in so doing, conveys a profound respect for older women that trangresses the youth obssessed banality of much of Western society. It is this aspect of the novel I wish to applaud for it shows that honesty, tolerance and a benign sensitivity can overcome our innate desire for self-gratification. About time this story was labelled a classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lierary style., 2 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
This is writing littered with style, calm assurance and what comes across as a life of amazing chance and inocence.
Falling out of one bed and into another occurs with great regularity yet none of the partings appear to result in any kind of bitternes. If the writer and his hero could write a manual on how to achieve such amourous success it would surely be a raging best seller. 11 out of ten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!, 11 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: In Praise of Older Women: The amorous recollections of András Vajda (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
It was very refreshing to have another take on the attitudes toward older women's relationships with younger men. Although taken from the man's point of view, it does not denigrate the women involved. He grows up through the experiences he has with them and appreciates the valuable lessons learned. Experiences he felt at the time, he could not have handled with women his own age. If you've ever experienced this type of relationship, don't feel condemned, it may be that you offered, and experienced something wonderful - that you both needed at the time. I know I did!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I was mostly disappointed by how quickly and easily these women were ready ..., 6 Aug. 2014
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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 the sorry tale. The author occasionally littered his experiences with some detail of the era...but there's no getting away from the fact that this was just a horny boy with a penchant for the older women who were mostly neglected and embittered and I could find nothing about them that was either exceptional or praiseworthy. The book will always be relevant because it's the same old story. I was mostly disappointed by how quickly and easily these women were ready to jump into bed with this man-child and feel this book would be better titled as a tip to fellow brethren 'How to bed the older women'. It's not badly written.. he's probably spelled out the sad truth. Women of the sisterhood. ..If I could indulge as to an opinion. Use this book to say no to such requests if they ever come along. I got the feeling that on reflection... he really wasn't worth it and these ladies were just as empty after this temporary distraction which really added little value to their lives.
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