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The Door by [Szabo, Magda]
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The Door Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 274 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"The Door has been waiting for us for more than sixteen years. It has just opened" (Livres Hebdo)

"In The Door, Hungary's most famous living author, Magda Szabo, gives a rare insight into the precarious relationship between the "lady writer" and her woman who does...The Door is a valuable document of a vital relationship." (Elena Seymenliyska Guardian)

"'Szabó manages to conjure up as many cliffhangers as an Indiana Jones film. The Door is a triumph. Clever, moving, frightening, it deserves to be a bestseller'" (Tibor Fischer Daily Telegraph)

"'No brief summary can do justice to the intelligence and moral complexity of this novel. I picked it up without expectation. I read it with gathering intensity, and a swelling admiration. I finished it, and straightaway started to read it again. It is unusual, original and utterly compelling'" (Scotsman)

Book Description

A poignantly sad but resolutely uplifting portatit of the relationship between a writer and her housekeeper, the one calling the other back to the beauty of life again.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1263 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (29 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OHAJHM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,393 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
The Door by Magda Szabo is a detailed, intimate account of a relationship between two women. Paradoxically, it was the distance between them that generated the intimacy. Presented with behaviour and attitudes she could not identify with or recognise, a young writer tries to analyse her maid's motives, to rationalise her strangeness, to explain her unconventional behaviour.

It is clear from the start that the new maid, Emerence, has had a fundamentally different kind of life from her employer. And, as the relationship develops, details of that life are slowly unearthed to be shared. Memories and reflections unfold like a gently opening flower, each miniscule change adding to what has gone before. Eventually these individually small incremental revelations complete a picture of a life that even the imagination of a writer could not have created.

The Door is rarely a vivid book. Its tone and style are always measured. Details are picked apart and analysed, their consequences examined under a microscope that seeks out motive, honesty and guilt. Paradoxically - perhaps as a consequence of this concentration on the psychological - there is no greats sense of place or setting. In fact, so deeply do the characters enter into the psychological aspects of their lives that they sometimes appear to have their gaze directed inwards on themselves. And eventually, an enduring reaction to the book is its constant consciousness of the distance between people, despite both intimacy and proximity.

The book's style is quite dense. There is very little dialogue, and what is offered is often stunted and awkward. Magda Szabo employs longs long paragraphs, whose content often meanders through different strands of the character's emotions.
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Format: Paperback
Magda Szabo was one of the best writers of the 20th century in any language, much loved in her native Hungary, and The Door is perhaps her most highly regarded novel among work that included fairy tales, plays and teenage fiction. Szabo has a way of creating sympathy for unlovable characters, and here the relationship between the woman writer and her cleaner is not just a brilliant story of a deep and transforming relationship, but a description of the strange way things happen during wars, and the importance of a community for all of us. Szabo's writer peels away the layers of character of her cleaner Emerance almost compulsively and without realising what she's doing. This book reminds me of everything that's beautiful and valuable in life. It's a pity more of Szabo's work isn't translated for a wider audience.
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Format: Paperback
Magda Szabo (1917 – 2007), one of Hungary’s most celebrated authors, lays bare her own values and her soul in The Door, a rich and intensely intimate examination of the relationship between a character named Magdushka, an author whose point of view controls this novel, and Emerence, her housekeeper-servant. As suggested by the choice of the main character’s name and occupation, much of the story here parallels aspects obvious from the author’s own biography, and she has admitted in an interview that much of the content here is based on similar experiences from her own life.

Author Szabo, born in 1914, lived through World War II, the Soviet Hungarian People’s Republic, and the Stalinist Era in the early 1950s, during which time she and her husband were writing but not publishing their books. After the revolution in 1956, censorship declined, and she published her first novel to great acclaim in 1958, winning the Attila Jozsef Prize in 1959. The excitement of this achievement is duplicated in The Door when Magdushka also wins her first prize, and it is this event, one of the climactic moments of the book, which allows the reader to get a sense of the late 1950s in which the action takes place. By playing with time and compressing it, the author achieves a greater flexibility with the action, removes it from the real chronology of Hungarian history, and focuses completely on the universal human qualities of the characters, especially Magdushka and Emerence.

In a brief opening chapter, Magdushka, now in old age, describes the continuing nightmare which has loomed over her adult life. In it she is behind the front door of her own house, unable to open it for rescuers and unable to call for help.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A young writer employs a housekeeper in Hungary at a time of political upheaval. Over the years, the two women's lives blend together and they become like family. But there are many secrets in the housekeeper's past which cause upheavals for the local community. It is like a dark fairy tale, without a happy ending. I was fascinated by the mysteries of the concierge flat!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rather like Sofia, I didn't understand where this novel was going. Beautifully written, the first chapter drew me in, but from then on the only reason I kept reading was to get to the point, which I eventually did near the end, though I didn't feel it was worth the effort. I constantly wondered why the narrator (and her shadowy and apparently long-suffering husband) would tolerate such relentlessly appalling behaviour from Emerence. I think most people I know would have had nothing more to do with her after the first couple of incidents. I found myself intensely irritated by this novel which is a pity, because I think it is probably very good, but just not for me.
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