The Book Of Fathers Paperback – 6 Jul 2006
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** 'A superb family saga that draws the reader effortlessly through nearly three centuries of turbulent history ... The characters are fascinating and Vamos's writing is a magnificent, seamless blend of the general and the personal (THE TIMES)
** 'A warm, humorous, courageous story ... a wonderful reading experience. Highly recommended, especially for lovers of Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW)
** 'Intricately structured and enigmatically imaginative . . . The book is shot through with ideas about music, nationality, astrology, Judaism, and a troublesome relationship with time. Massive in scale but intimate in tone, the novel oscillates between a kind of ornate folk-tale roughness and a lighter yet more sombre beauty (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
* An epic tour de force about ten generations of one family in war-torn Hungary.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Although it dates back to the history of his great-great-grandfather, the story proper, as recorded in the Book of Fathers in which each records their history, starts back in 1705 with Kornel Csillag. Kornel inherits a gift from his grandfather that is passed through succeeding generations - the gift of seeing in visions the past history of the preceding first-born males of the family, and some are also blessed with the gift of divining the future. This turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing, since the family have several Jewish strands and live through difficult times, subject to pogroms, the political upheavals, arrests and inquisitions of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Holocaust, and even the conflicts caused by family differences over marriage alliances - but even with awareness of the future, they are unable to avoid their ultimate fates.
What makes the book such good reading is that it is broken down into a series of episodic adventures, each of the members of the family being gifted with a particular quality - a great singer, a linguist, a gambler etc.- one that is cumulatively inherited through the shared memory of the next generation, marking them out for an intriguing life. It also manages to set this against the struggle for Hungarian language and independence, building into a kind of Hungarian `100 Years of Solitude'.Read more ›