A Novel

Book - 2004 | 1st Vintage International ed.
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Relates the daily life of prisoners at a Nazi concentration camp as seen through the eyes of Georg Koves, a fourteen-year-old boy who is deported from his home in Budapest to Auschwitz with his father, in a new translation of the acclaimed novel by the Nobel laureate.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2004.
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed.
ISBN: 9781400078639
Branch Call Number: FIC KERTESZ
Characteristics: 262 p. ; 21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Wilkinson, Tim


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Oct 04, 2011

This story opens as we are immediately plunked into a young, 15 year old boys life. We come to realize very quickly that we are reading about World War II and that young Gyuri is Jewish, and getting ready to say goodbye to his father who is being shipped out to a work camp. Set in Hungry, Fatelessness follows along as Gyuri is separated from his family and shipped off to Auschwitz. Trying to make sense of senseless acts, this boy, who doesn’t particularly think of himself as Jewish, slowly loses the last things he owns, his identity and his sense of self.

This story is made all the more powerful by the author, Imre Kertesz, who writes in a matter-of-fact, unsentimental way as he portrays this chilling, haunting story. As we follow Gyuri from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, he slowly becomes aware that he is one of the few that haven’t been immediately killed. He is crammed into a shed with two hundred and fifty other men, kept alive on starvation rations and forced to labour in an adjacent factory. At first he thinks he will get along by being a model prisoner, but polite obedience and a willingness to work until his fingers bleed eventually give way to the slow realization that he is powerless to change things.

A heart-rendering story, Fatelessness, is Imre Kertesz story as well, as he was imprisoned in Buchenwald as a young man, and this, his first novel, does much to shed light upon this terrible moment in history.


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