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Thread: Pter Ndas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Hungary Pter Ndas


    I've never heard of Pter Ndas until recently. His novel, Parallel Stories, is coming out in English in October. It is translated by Imre Goldstein.

    Are any of you familiar with Ndas?

    I find this description from his wiki exciting: "His writing has been described as intellectual, detailed, strong, innovative, and demanding."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Pter Ndas

    I've got his "A Book of Memories" and I'm going to try and see how brilliant he truly is

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Kroke, Polin

    Default Re: Pter Ndas

    I've borrowed his "Love" some weeks ago from the library. It's about 130 pages and still I returned it undread. (I might have kept it for a couple more days and eventually finish it, but I have a long list of books to get and I can only have 4 books at a time borrowed). I really couldn't get myself to finish it. The premise is interesting: a man comes to tell his girlfriend he wants to break up, but she rolls a joint and so the fun begins. By the fifth time he was thinking whether he really went to the bathroom or was he just imagining it, I gave up. I want to try other books by him, though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Hungary Re: Pter Ndas

    There was a review of Pter Ndas' latest work to be translated nto English in Bookforum:

    Polymorphous Adversity - WILLIAM T. VOLLMANN ON PTER NDAS'S PARALLEL STORIES [Bookforum Volume 18, issue 4, pages 18 and 19]

    Unfortunately, you can't access the review online. But I'm sure that Bookforum is in every well-stocked bookstore in the States.

    It would be interesting to know what Liam thinks of this review and book.

    See Bookforum website at:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NYC, USA

    Default Re: Pter Ndas

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    It would be interesting to know what Liam thinks of this review and book.
    Um. Why? Liam has neither read the book nor seems likely to do so, . I could maybe procure a copy of this Bookforum magazine and upload the article in question for those curious about it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    New Jersey, USA

    Default Re: Pter Ndas

    The End of a Family Story

    Despite “story” being in the title, this book is light on plot. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but here for much of the book there is little moving things forward. Just a warning, the back cover in the English edition pretty much gives away the entire tale. This isn't exactly a book you'd read for the story, but just a heads up.

    Roughly a little over half of the narrative is from the stream of conscious perspective of a young boy in 1950s Hungary. This part is told in a manner reminiscent of the Benjy section in The Sound and the Fury, with sentences hopping around scenes with little notice. Unfortunately, this means no momentum and I had to push myself forward for a lot of it (though I will admit perhaps someone more familiar with Hungary at this point in time would pick up references lost on me and find it fascinating).

    The other part is made up of the stories the grandfather tells the narrator. At first these mostly sound like biblical parables but a narrative gradually forms out of them, one that’s surprisingly interesting (at least for me, a history major).

    In retrospect, everything does come together, but only at the end did it come together for me, and unlike Faulkner or Claude Simon, where pages can pass and I have no idea how they relate to the story until an “a-ha” moment but I’m still captivated by their prose skills, there was a lot to wade through here. Perhaps in his later books Nadas finds his footing, but here in his first published novel he is too ambitious for his own good, telling what seems to me now a great story in the completely wrong way. One day I’ll get around to his two colossal books, but this novel hasn’t nudged them up on my to-read list.

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