“Embers” by Sandor Marai (Hungary)


Readers enjoyed this book a lot, finding it a really easy read. They thought the writing was beautiful and evocative, and liked how it flowed. They loved the descriptions of the different places: from the Hungarian castle and grounds, to the Viennese apartment and the Tropics. Readers found the General a fascinating character and liked how he slowly brings into the conversation different topics that vary widely, such as music, friendship, fidelity, memory, and hunting/killing. Some readers thought that the General’s monologue resembled a soliloquy, which they felt would make a great play despite being a bit long winded in parts. They would have loved to hear more from the points of view of Konrad, Krisztina and even the General’s nurse, Nini. Readers were a little disappointed by the ending that felt brusque in comparison to the drawn-out conversation. Overall, it averaged an 8.2 out of 10.


Forty years ago Henrik and his friend Konrad parted – they have not seen one another since. That same day Henrik’s wife Krisztina stopped speaking to him. Now Konrad has returned from a distant land and Henrik, now known as the old General, has ordered that the castle be prepared for this visitor. Tonight they will dine together. They will talk of the last time they met and of all that went unsaid on that fateful day… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 21 (Oct 2017 – Feb 2018)
“Embers” by Sandor Marai (Hungary)
“Human Acts” by Han Kang (South Korea)
“Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea (Mexico)
“Lyrics Alley” by Leila Aboulela (Sudan) *
“Shantytown” by César Aira (Argentina)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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