Man Booker International Award- Satantango

–Dystopian adj: relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.

Starting Book it Babe’s Project 2021 with this dystopian novel. To get acquainted with my project check out https://bookitbabe.com/

Award

Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2015. Written originally in Hungarian by Laszlo Krasznahorkai. Translated by George Szirtes.

  • Who: Sponsored by the Man Group
  • What: Best book in English translation; published in UK or Ireland
  • When: Began in 2005, pre 2015 and post 2016 differences
    • awarded every 2 years versus every year
  • Prize: 50,000 pounds (about $66,295) split between the writer and the translator
  • There is also the regular Man Booker Prize for fiction books written in English
  • Other winners: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/books

Novel

Usually the synopsis gives the reader an idea of what they are about to read, but in this case it does not. It’s the story of a “rain-drenched Hungarian Hamlet infested with failures and spiders and drunks.” Anything can happen.

They proceed without speaking, mile after mile, they must be roughly halfway between the turnoff and the local bar; occasionally a star twinkles in front of them only to vanish again in the dense dark; sometimes the moon shines through the mist and, like two exhausted figures on the paved road below, escapes with them across the celestial battlefield, pushing it’s way past every obstacle toward its target, right until dawn.

The characters are shady, down on their luck, and greedy. The writing style is completely different from what most of us have read because there are no paragraphs. There are chapters to separate parts of the book which is helpful. Overall, it’s a pretty haunting and unusual novel. I never really got the message in it though. I had to google it to figure out what it was about.

Halics was seeking—and indeed had found!—a minute or a second’s worth of comradeship with the landlord, if only in the way a caged hyena and a freely circling vulture discover a warm, mutual unselfconscious partnership that welcomes any disaster…

My final thought: there is no plot and no satisfying ending.

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