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4.4 out of 5 stars
Embers
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2007
Saw this book in my local library - sat on an end of a shelf looking rather tired. I read the back sleeve about the author and felt compelled to take the book home.

The book is short and in places rather hard-going but the narrative/dialogue soon takes speed and before long you are gripped by the conservation of the two old gents.

I found this book very emotional and philosophical reflecting on life's journey. The plot is based around a simple relationship that is shadowed with deceit.

A beautifully written book and a momento for the bookcase. Worthy of 5-stars.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2002
Reading this novel you may understand - even if you do not speak Hungarian - the quality of Hungary and the universal power of love. Hungarian culture is for the living. This culture never dies, not even in our age of machines and soul-less money.
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on 3 February 2015
good
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2014
I, like others, read this to the end hoping that something might actually happen, but it didn't. It's just a chap wittering on about nothing in particular, occasionally touching on things actually relevant to the scant story. Some reviewers have exclaimed over the author's insight into friendships and I have read phrases like breathtaking and heart-stopping. I think perhaps I was reading a different book as I found my mind wondering and struggled to concentrate on the words which my eyes were, for a large part, skimming over - I just could not engage with the story. Unlike most books that I have read (and I am a fairly prolific reader with a somewhat eclectic collection) the characters in this one do not come alive and one cannot empathise or believe in them. That said, it is well written in terms of prose if not content and different genres appeal to different people.
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8 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2002
I bought this book on the strenghth of the wonderful reviews I have read of it and have rarely been so disappointed.
This is a cold book, completely lacking in any evocation of feelings- love or hatred any sense of place or persons.
The bulk of the book is taken up with a whingeing near-monologue, irritatingly written in the present tense and I wondered why the Konrad character bothered to travel across Europe in wartime to hear it as I could barely be bothered to read it in the comfort of my own home.
I believe this book has been translatd into English via German so perhaps it's good qualities have been lost. It would be interesting to read in a direct translation to see if any warmth or characterisaton is brought out.
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10 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2004
I read the reviews of this book, and thought I had an understanding of the kind of mood this book might evoke, it sounded dark, somewhat mysterious even.
I will say firstly that it was beautifully written, As a writer Sandor is extremely poetic, and viewed under that light I would have found it a pleasure to read, but in terms of storytelling I found it extremely bland, and bearing in mind that this is a relatively thin book, I found it drawn out and empty.
From the beginning you are admittedly (if not unfairly) drawn in to a captivating tale about how these two young boys became friends and there friendship through early stages of there life, then a seed is planted, shedding a small amount of light for the reader on how some type of betrayal has occurred between these two friends.
After this point in the story you are (indeed as I hoped early) feeling the mood as dark and intriguing, but then the book lose's it's momentum, it's lose's it's way really.
It becomes almost a joke it's terms of metaphors, everything is compared to something. Every sentence of conversation has to be compared to something and the meaning has to be explained in great (if not sometimes irrelevant) detail over the next page or so. Many times it seemed pointless and to be harsh...like extra padding just to make the book a decent size.
I mean really it got to the point where someone said something and I just wanted to skip a couple of pages to see the next sentence in the conversation. It became incredibly frustrating, because it was almost like the wheels had stopped turning on the story.
I was waiting for something poignant at the end, some twist or even the big picture perhaps?, but instead it was the weakest part of the book, it was incredibly disappointing, and it made me wonder if Sandor had started this book with an idea that jumped ship long before he finished.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 June 2009
A boring waste of time that I am delighted now to find myself released from. This author was no Joseph CONRAD!!

Don't imagine that you will learn ANYTHING.
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