Imre Kertesz

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Fatelessness, Imre Kertesz, Vintage, December 18, 2007

At the age of 14 Georg Koves is plucked from his home in a Jewish section of  Budapest and without any particular malice, placed on a train to Auschwitz.

He does not understand the reason for his fate.  He doesn’t particularly think of himself as Jewish.  And his fellow prisoners, who decry his lack of  Yiddish,  keep telling him, “You are no Jew.”  In the lowest circle of the Holocaust,  Georg remains an outsider.

The genius of  Imre  Kertesz’s  unblinking novel lies in its refusal to mitigate the strangeness of its events, not least of which is Georg’s dogmatic insistence on making sense of what he witnesses–or pretending that what he witnesses makes sense. Haunting, evocative, and all the more horrifying for its rigorous avoidance of sentiment, Fatelessness is a masterpiece in the traditions of  Primo Levi,  Elie Wiesel, and Tadeusz Borowski (from the Trade Paperback edition).

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Category:  Books
Released:  Jun 15, 2010
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