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MobileRead February 09 book nominations
#91  Dr. Drib 01-23-2009, 10:55 AM
Quote pilotbob
Anyone have a good abstract?

BOb
From Publishers Weekly
Everything about this dazzling first novel is utterly original, including the title: it's about a group of young American (and one Canadian) expatriates living in Budapest in 1990, just after the Communist empire has collapsed, and the point of "Prague" is that it's the place everyone would rather be, except they have all somehow settled for Budapest as second best to their idealized Central European city.The author's way of bringing his five central characters onstage is also devilishly clever. They are playing a game invented by Charles Gabor, the only one with a Hungarian background called Sincerity, in which scores are made by telling convincing lies and by seeing through the lies of others. This serves at once to introduce these characters and allows the author to play with their sense of themselves. There is sophisticated, devious Charles, working for a New York investment company seeking newly privatized Hungarian businesses to invest in; Mark, a Canadian intellectual obsessed with the elements of nostalgia (and finding Budapest a rich repository); John, who writes a mordant column on the clashes of the old world and the new for the English-language BudapesToday; John's older brother, Scott, who despises him; and Emily, an apparent innocent from Nebraska who works at the U.S. Embassy. At the heart of the story is Charles's attempt to take over a venerable Hungarian publishing company, whose history is brilliantly sketched and whose aged scion, Imre Horvath, is a quintessential Central European survivor. John nurses a hopeless passion for Emily, becomes involved with a bald-headed collage artist and listens, enchanted, to the tales of an elderly pianist in the group's favorite jazz club. Mark disappears, Scott decamps and the publishing caper ends in disillusionment.But what happens in this novel is not nearly so important as Phillips's wonderful grasp Budapest's look, style and ethos, and his sometimes sympathetic, often scathing view of the Western interlopers. His writing is swift, often poetic, unerringly exact with voices and subtle details of time, place and weather. This novel is so complete a distillation of its theme and characters that it leaves a reader wondering how on earth Phillips can follow it up.

#92  pshrynk 01-23-2009, 11:05 AM
Quote Dr. Drib
Let me emphasize that that was my personal opinion and not as a Moderator. (I apologize for not making that clear.)

...so anyone can certainly feel free to disagree with me.


Don
Wait... We have moderators?

#93  lilac_jive 01-24-2009, 10:52 AM
Wow, we only have five nominations and today is the last day. Let's go people!

#94  pilotbob 01-24-2009, 11:03 AM
Quote Dr. Drib
From Publishers Weekly<snip>
Wow, got something more the size of a Cover Flap summary?

BOb

#95  Dr. Drib 01-24-2009, 11:08 AM
Quote pilotbob
Wow, got something more the size of a Cover Flap summary?

BOb
This is not my quote, but:

A first novel of startling scope and ambition, Prague depicts an intentionally lost Lost Generation as it follows five American expats who come to Budapest in the early 1990s to seek their fortune—financial, romantic, and spiritual—in an exotic city newly opened to the West. They harbor the vague suspicion that their counterparts in Prague, where the atmospheric decay of post–Cold War Europe is even more cinematically perfect, have it better. Still, they hope to find adventure, inspiration, a gold rush, or history in the making. What they actually find is a deceptively beautiful place that they often fail to understand. What does it mean to fret about your fledgling career when the man across the table was tortured by two different regimes? How does your short, uneventful life compare to the lives of those who actually resisted, fought, and died? What does your angst mean in a city still pocked with bullet holes from war and crushed rebellion?

_________________________

Or use this shorter version of same? ---

A first novel of startling scope and ambition, Prague depicts an intentionally lost Lost Generation as it follows five American expats who come to Budapest in the early 1990s to seek their fortune—financial, romantic, and spiritual—in an exotic city newly opened to the West.




Don

#96  pilotbob 01-25-2009, 02:49 PM
Poll is now open. Thanks for you nominations

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37219

Mods.. please close and un-sticky this thread. Please sticky poll.

Thanks,
BOb

#97  HarryT 01-27-2009, 09:33 AM
Done.

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