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Embers [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Sandor Marai , Carol Brown Janeway
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6. Februar 2003
A castle at the foot of the Carpathian mountains in the 1930s. Two men, inseparable in their youth, meet for the first time in forty-one years. They have spent their lives waiting for this moment. Four decades earlier a murky, traumatic event - something to do with a betrayal, and a woman - led to their sudden separation. Now, as their lives draw to a close, the devastating truth about that moment will be revealed. EMBERS is a masterpiece - an unforgettable story of passion, fidelity, truth and deception.

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  • Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin; Auflage: New Ed (6. Februar 2003)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0141004312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141004310
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 1,6 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 107.437 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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In Sándor Márai's Embers, two old men, once the best of friends, meet after a 41-year break in their relationship. They dine together, taking the same places at the table that they had assumed on the last meal they shared, then sit beside each other in front of a dying fire, one of them nearly silent, the other one, his host, slowly and deliberately tracing the course of their dead friendship. This sensitive, long-considered elaboration of one man's lifelong grievance is as gripping as any adventure story and explains why Márai's forgotten 1942 masterpiece is being compared with the work of Thomas Mann. In some ways, Márai's work is more modern than Mann's. His brevity, simplicity, and succinct, unadorned lyricism may call to mind Latin American novelists like Gabriel García Márquez, or even Italo Calvino. It is the tone of magical realism, although Márai's work is only magical in the sense that he completely engages his reader, spinning a web of words as his wounded central character describes his betrayal and abandonment at the hands of his closest friend. Even the setting, an old castle, evokes dark fairy tales.

The story of the rediscovery of Embers is as fascinating as the novel itself. A celebrated Hungarian novelist of the 1930s, Márai survived the war but was persecuted by the Communists after they came to power. His books were suppressed, even destroyed, and he was forced to flee his country in 1948. He died in San Diego in 1989, one year before the neglected Embers was finally reprinted in his native land. This reprint was discovered by the Italian writer and publisher Roberto Calasso, and the subsequent editions have become international bestsellers. All of Márai's novels are now slated for American publication. --Regina Marler -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Two men who have not seen each other for over 40 years sit down to a final meal together in a forgotten castle at the foot of the Carpathia mountains. The last time they met - in the company of a beautiful woman - an unspoken act of betrayal left all three lives shattered.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Depressing finale of two lifes 6. August 2006
Von Fosforos
A masterpiece of European literature exposes the relationship between two fiends and a woman, which is wife to the one and lover to the other. After some terrible event, a revelation, the friends are separated and the wife refuses life.

The two old frieds live for 41 years separated and meet for a grand finale in which they reflect about their lifes and passions.

Sandor Marai expertly analyzes the figures in this story, contemplating a magic puzzle, which might lack surprises, but stuns the reader with the deep insight into the human soul. He takes the friendship between two very different people, bound by an invisible force, into pieces and sheds light into the darkest corners of their beings.

At the end one feels himself locked in an ancient hungarian castle in the middle of a dark forest, pondering about life and love, inspired by the widom of Sandor Marai.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  140 Rezensionen
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A review of "Embers" from two perspectives 4. August 2003
Von Judith Higgins - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
I was moved to add my voice to your reviews of "Embers" for two reasons: because it is such an excellent piece of literature, and because I have read it in its original Hungarian and now in English. Viewing it from such a unique perspective, I can say that it is an outstanding translation and is as effective in English as in Hungarian. While the setting may seem exotic to Americans, the problems it explores are deeply psychological and universal to mankind. While it may not be the choice of readers of popular action novels, it would appeal to serious readers of fine literature. (I speak as one who has worked as a translator, written fiction, and holds degrees in psychology.) The book explores the friendship and love of two men and the meaning of the rift that tears them apart for 41 years and defines the existence of at least one of them for the remainder of his life. The novel is developed masterfully, solely from the viewpoint of one of the men, through his well planned monologue in the presence of his friend, during which he wrestles aloud with the great questions that have defined his life. In the end we realize that the presence of his friend is almost incidental, as the speaker has come to grips with his questions through internal dialogue and soul searching over 41 years of self-enforced withdrawal from the world. In the end he seems content with his conclusions and complete within himself, having answered his own questions, although the presence of his friend was necessary in order to achieve his piece of mind.
57 von 58 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen FLAWLESS! 10. Januar 2002
Von Ruth Edlund - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is a diamond: brilliant, clear, cold, and hard.
The language is particularly remarkable because the credits state that that the English transation of this book was made not from the orginal Hungarian but from the German translation of the Hungarian. It is a double tour de force of the translators' art.
Among this work's many charms is the period detail of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the very end of its long run, and an Old World culture that still echoes in memories of the airs and graces of immigrant grandparents. They say that history is written by the victorious (in war); well, although literature is most frequently published by the victorious as well, the vanquished keep on writing, and manuscripts don't burn.
As other reviewers have stated, the arresting story line of this book is told in the course of a single evening, but covers the lives of two old men beginning from the time they were boys, and centering an ambiguous act or acts of betrayal which occured at their last meeting forty-one years earlier.
There is not a single extraneous word, or wasted image, in this volume. This becomes more obvious upon second reading once one has satisfied oneself that one has solved, to the extent possible, the mystery presented in the storyline. The depth and subtlety of psychological insight that Marai brings to this work is astonishing.
The effect is a combination of the film "My Dinner with Andre," but without the humor, as written by Josephine Hart, the author of _Damage_. What is truly phenomenal to the 21st century American reader is that an author of such power and mastery could have lived and died (in Los Angeles, or thereabouts, in 1989!) utterly unknown until recently.
I disagree with comparisons of this author to Proust or Dostoevsky. He is more nearly akin to Pushkin, and this work can stand next to the _Queen of Spades_. You will not regret the time spent reading this book.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Grand Rediscovery 13. Dezember 2001
Von taking a rest - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The good news is that a substantial body of work from Mr. Sandor Marai of Hungary has been found once again, in a manner of speaking, and for those who love brilliant writing, the Publisher Knoph is translating his work into English. His novel, "Embers" is one of the better books I have read this year.
An old castle in The Carpathian Mountains is the setting for what approaches a monologue. The mood of the book is consistent with another who hailed from these mountains as Vlad The Impaler. The book is not a horror novel, rather a disturbing psychological thriller that explores what is truly at the heart of an issue after it has been examined for over 4 decades. Coincidentally the age of the author when he wrote the work, and the time that expires between one dinner between the closest of friends and its sequel, are both 42 years. The book is remarkable as he writes of the view of life from the perspective of people in their 8th and 10th decades of life, and the prose reads as authoritative and appropriate. It reads like a man who has lived twice as long as the author had lived when he penned this work. The writing is wise.
Mr. Marai takes a familiar theme that would normally result in rapid responses from those involved, and instead suspends any conclusion for over 4 decades. He presents two boys that grow up together and form bonds that are so absolute, there is nowhere for their friendship to improve. Their bond is complete; their backgrounds are polar opposites, which may give rise to the fall. There is an intentional breach, and then there is an event that never gets beyond the "almost" stage. Had it occurred it would have been the greatest of tragedies.
The injured party, whether through right or the power of family and position, could have done anything he chose to his friend and betrayer. For over 40 years he could have easily sought him out, but yet he never did, he never even contemplated seeking a traditional revenge. When the faithless friend comes to visit, dinner is served with a meticulous eye for the reproduction of every detail of the dinner 42 years before. There are only two at the table as opposed to three, and yet the missing third is a tangential issue, important but not the focus. The host queries his guest about events of which he knows all the details save for one. He already knows what happened, and is comfortable as to motive. The author builds such expectations in the reader that you will wonder if the final act can possibly match the first.
There is only one question, however there are two sources for the truth. The host for most of his life has held one and he has never violated the seal, his friend alone can provide the answer if the book remains closed. The resolution of the tale is brilliant. It is complex, and also beautifully logical when expressed as this one character of fiction has decanted it for most of his life. There is no written slight of hand. This is a completely new approach, a unique response to what should seem cliché. Absolutely great reading.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A Lost Masterpiece Rediscovered 18. November 2001
Von bibliomane01 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
What a magnificent novel this is, and how ironic that it lingered in obscurity for two generations after it was published! "Embers" is an entire world in miniature, a slim volume in which the author boldly takes on some of the largest questions facing humanity: what are the true meanings of words such as loyalty and friendship? And revenge...
41 years after their last fateful meeting, two old friends eat dinner together in a Hungarian castle that is a relic of another age, when Vienna was the centre of Europe and young men waltzed with their girls to the hot new tunes of Strauss the younger. A world war has ended that age forever, and a second and even more terrible conflict has just begun. But for these two men, the world around them means little. Far more important is the reality of what happened four decades earlier, and whether a terrible act of betrayal took place. The author uses the devices of swift scene paintings and extensive monologue to expertly conduct the reader through the story, and the result is a truly unforgettable work of fiction. The translation by Carol Brown Janeway is admirable.
25 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Glowing embers 1. Mai 2003
Von A. T. A. Oliveira - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Every once in a blue moon we come across a book that we will love and it will haunt us forever, no matter what else you read this story will be in your mind, and every now and then you will think of its characters, its events, the feelings you had when you read it. Sándor Márai's Embers is one of those books for me.
After having this novel recommended so many times I decided to read it-- and what was my surprise if not it it is one of the finest narratives ever. Everything is subtle, the words are crafted, the magic it brings is unforgettable. After a 41 years-old break tow great friends are about to meet again for a dinner. Between them there are unfinished business, questions that one depends on the other to know the answer-- if such thing is possible. And a woman that may --or may not-- have led them to fall apart. Half of the book or so, tells the events while General Henrik is getting prepared for meeting his friend Konrad --and flashbacks tell how they become friends and what happened afterwards.
Márai is smart enough as writer not to provide answers, they would be to simple and plain. Rather than that, he raises up many questions, and leaves a lot of room for our imagination. What really happened is impossible to know, but does we really care about the truth? Anything is possible, but now, 41 years later, nothing makes any difference, both Henrik and Korad have lived in shadow of those events, and it is not possible to change things that happened. It is to late for atone anything. By the way, this book will please those --just like me-- who enjoyed Ian McEwan's Atonement. Both books are superb, well written and unforgettable.
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