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Title:   Embers

Binding:   Paper Back

Book Condition:   New

Publisher:    Vintage September 2002

ISBN Number:    0375707425 / 9780375707421

Seller ID:   20090102151983

There's something delicious about a novel built around a single occurrence, a single conversation between two men separated for decades by war, geography and a betrayal. Embers never leaves the rooms of its setting, a dusty nobleman's estate in a mountainous backwater of the former Austro-Hungarian empire. The empire is dead, the men are awkwardly reunited, wine and delicacies are brought forth and the aging nobleman addresses his friend in a monologue that spans most of the book. It's an artificial conversation, a bold conceit. But the suspense is embedded with a light, skillful touch -- the nobleman's voice pained through its pretensions -- and we soon forgive the novel's biggest conceit of all: it's an extended discourse on moral relativism, cloaked in refinement and the ready metaphor of a nonexistent empire. What is an oath when the entity under which it was sworn is gone? Embers was written in Hungarian in 1942, translated into German half a century later and into English only recently. We recommend reading it straight through, preferably in front of a roaring fire.

Price = 13.95 USD

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