P NADAS The End of a Family Story

ISBN 13: 9780099288251

The End of a Family Story

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9780099288251: The End of a Family Story

An unforgettable short novel--Ndas's first, from 1977.

It is the 1950s, in Hungary, when Stalinist repression has reduced the populace to silence and deception. An old man, refusing to submit to these implacable realities, flees to his memories of the past, in which he believes he can still find redemption. For his grandson, he invents a fantastic tapestry of stories, a family saga, a fabulous world of myths and legends: he imagines--and recounts--a luxuriant history of a people who, having denied the Messiah, must legitimate their faith and expiate their sins over thousands of years.

That is one family story. Another, more urgent and immediate, is engaging both the storyteller and the boy. The authorities condemn as a traitor the son of one and father of the other, and then they come searching for the boy, who is the narrator of this extraordinary fiction. But the boy has been liberated into sincerity and freedom by his grandfather's stories, and he feels himself empowered to give dark and passionate testimony to the alienation, treason, sexual energies, and complex truth-telling of the adult world that confronts him. Finally he begins to understand how other kinds of family stories will end.

Myth, history, and political realities are beautifully synthesized in this inspired, radiantly beautiful novel from the author of A Book of Memories.

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Review:

In A Book of Memories, Péter Nádas explored Stalinism and post-Communist Eastern Europe through the eyes of a novelist. The Hungarian author's first novel, The End of a Family Story, also features a storyteller at its heart, but this time it is a young boy's rebellious, irreverent grandfather. "Grandpa used to tell me lots of stories. But not fairy tales, real stories," the unnamed narrator recalls. The grandfather tells about his years in the army during World War II, about his youth ("Shall I tell you the story of the suit?"), and often he draws on the Bible for material, mixing psalms and scripture into tales of fairies and fishermen. Fractured Hungarian history, bizarre genealogies--his stories are marvelous but disturbing.

But these yarns are by no means the only stories at work in Nádas's novel. At its center is the narrator's relationship with his elusive, undemonstrative father, a Stalinist functionary who betrays friends and family, only to be branded a traitor by those he worked for in the end. What makes The End of a Family History so powerful is Nádas's use of the child narrator as a filter for the adult experience of Communist Hungary. People die, people are arrested, people disappear--events that adults may rationalize but that children find simply incomprehensible. Written in chapter-long paragraphs and brimming with fantastical imagery (octopuses that swim through the air; a fish in a bathtub; a secret garden) Nádas's novel is heavily symbolic, psychologically acute, and infinitely compelling. --Margaret Prior

About the Author:

Pter Ndas was born in Budapest in 1942. This novel, written before his celebrated A Book of Memories, has been translated into twelve languages. He lives in the village of Gombosszeg, Hungary, and is working on another novel.

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Peter Nadas
Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099288257 ISBN 13: 9780099288251
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is 1950s Hungary; a country at the height of Stalinist repression with a populace reduced to silence and deception. An old man flees with his memories of the past in which he believes he can still find redemption, taking with him his grandson, Simon. For him, he invents a fantastic tapestry of stories, a family saga, a fabulous world of myths and legends. His mother dead and his father condemned by the authorities as a traitor, Simon is sent to an institution where the inmates are sentenced to silence. Liberated by his grandfather s stories, Simon gives dark and passionate testimony to the alienation and treason that surrounds him. Finally he begins to understand how other kinds of family stories will end. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099288251

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Book Description Vintage, 2000. Book Condition: New. Set in Hungary in the 1950s, when Stalinist repression has reduced the populace to silence and deception, this book tells the story of an old man who flees to his memories of the past. For his grandson, he invents a fantastic tapestry of stories, a family saga, and a world of myths and legends. Translator(s): Goldstein, Imre. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 202 x 150 x 16. Weight in Grams: 184. . 2000. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099288251

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Peter Nadas
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is 1950s Hungary; a country at the height of Stalinist repression with a populace reduced to silence and deception. An old man flees with his memories of the past in which he believes he can still find redemption, taking with him his grandson, Simon. For him, he invents a fantastic tapestry of stories, a family saga, a fabulous world of myths and legends. His mother dead and his father condemned by the authorities as a traitor, Simon is sent to an institution where the inmates are sentenced to silence. Liberated by his grandfather s stories, Simon gives dark and passionate testimony to the alienation and treason that surrounds him. Finally he begins to understand how other kinds of family stories will end. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099288251

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. Set in Hungary in the 1950s, when Stalinist repression has reduced the populace to silence and deception, this book tells the story of an old man who flees to his memories of the past. For his grandson, he invents a fantastic tapestry of stories, a family saga, and a world of myths and legends. Translator(s): Goldstein, Imre. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 202 x 150 x 16. Weight in Grams: 184. . 2000. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099288251

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Book Description Vintage, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 256 pages. 7.83x5.08x0.63 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0099288257

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Book Description Vintage, 2000. paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780099288251 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE01343955

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