‘Should be savoured slowly... Only through exploring its subtlety and detail will the reader come to appreciate such an ornate and honest testimony to the human spirit’ - Washington Times
Fourteen-year-old Gyuri’s father has been called up for labour service. Arriving at the family timber store he witnesses with nonchalance and boredom his father sign over the business to the firm’s book-keeper. Two months later he finds himself assigned to a “permanent workplace” but within a fortnight he is unexpectedly pulled off a bus on his way to work and detained without explanation. This is the start of his journey to and subsequent imprisonment in Auschwitz.
On his arrival Gyuri finds that he is unable to identify with other Jews, and in turn is rejected by them. An outsider among his own people, his estrangement makes him a preternaturally acute observer. Fatelessness’ power lies in its refusal to mitigate the unfathomable alienness of the Holocaust and in the strength, and strangeness, of its narrative voice.
“Moving and numbing...a very great novel - Irish Times”
“Remarkable...an original and chilling quality -New York Review of Books”
“[T]his work...ought to stand beside Primo Levi's If This is a Man - The Times”
“Extraordinary - Observer”
“Should be savoured slowly . . . Only through exploring its subtlety and detail will the reader come to appreciate such an ornate and honest testimony to the human spirit”
“While the average reader cannot pretend truly to understand the reality for those who suffered in concentration camps, Kertesz draws us one step closer”
Susannah Steven, Observer, Books of the Week
“[The] crisp new translation still has an extraordinary power to shock”
Elena Seymenliyska, Guardian