- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (5 Oct. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099470284
- ISBN-13: 978-0099470281
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Door Paperback – 5 Oct 2006
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"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)
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another gem by Magda Szabo! It’s described by the Glasgow Herald as: “This melting pot of a novel hangs from a solid tripod of Greek myth, Biblical scripture and Slavic... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rae Else
Five stars do not do justice to this marvelous story, originally published in 1987, by the Hungarian, Magda Szabó, 1917-2007, whose work is little known in English. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr R
Very good. It took a little while to get into the but was well worth persevering. I have not quite reached the end but am curious to see what happens in the end. Very goodPublished 5 months ago by Katie Jones
After loving Magda Szabo's "Iza's Ballad", I ordered this work on the strength of it, but didn't quite enjoy it as much. Read morePublished 6 months ago by sally tarbox
I bought this novel on a whim. I never hear of Magda Szabó. Something about the theme appealed to me (you can judge this one by its cover) and having visited Hungary last... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Gerry