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THE BIRDS OF VERHOVINA (working title)

Ádám Bodor

  • Original Title: VERHOVINA MADARAI
  • Publication date: December 2011
  • Publisher: Magvető
  • Country: HU
  • 256 print pages
  • Drama

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Death, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, Totalitarian regime, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, LOVE / HATE, Destruction, Sex

Pitch

The history of a isolated community confronted by its own disappearance, and the description of a totalitarian society in all its irrationality, absurdity and implacability - a description that alternately provokes laughter and shuddering in the reader.

Comments

Translation rights sold: France, Poland, Italy

Ádám Bodor is an award-winning Hungarian author of Transylvanian Hungarian origin. Several of his works were adapted as films.

Summary

Home to nine hot springs, Verhovina used to be rich in natural beauty yet it has become a waste land, with only a few dozen inhabitants left. Trains to Verhovina are scarce; the timetable was cancelled. One day, even the birds disappeared from the region. The village has virtually lost contact with the outside world, though it seems to depend on some faceless, invisible power whose arrival always spells mysterious disappearance and violent death.

The reader arrives in Bodor’s world, the periphery of civilization, at the break of dawn. Adam, the foster son of Brigadier Anatol Korkodus is waiting at the dilapidated station for a boy who is arriving from a reformatory school. Soon afterwards, Korkodus is arrested, for unfathomable reasons. As the subtitle says, these stories are ‘variations on the last days.’ Yet this decaying and sinister world, populated with people bearing fantastic names (Bodor’s trademark), is not devoid of a certain joie de vivre: people eat gourmet dishes, point out their interlocutor’s hidden motives with incredible acumen, and enjoy the stunning natural beauty. Bodor’s novel is the description of a totalitarian society in all its irrationality, absurdity and implacability - a description that alternately provokes laughter and shuddering in the reader.


Report available
English translation available

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