About the book
Originally published in 1942 and now rediscovered to international acclaim, this taut and exquisitely structured novel by the Hungarian master Sandor Marai conjures the melancholy glamour of a decaying empire and the disillusioned wisdom of its last heirs.
In a secluded woodland castle an old General prepares to receive a rare visitor, a man who was once his closest friend but who he has not seen in forty-one years. Over the ensuing hours host and guest will fight a duel of words and silences, accusations and evasions. They will exhume the memory of their friendship and that of the General’s beautiful, long-dead wife. And they will return to the time the three of them last sat together following a hunt in the nearby forest–a hunt in which no game was taken but during which something was lost forever.
Reviewed by U3A Winchester Modern Novels Group 2:
Well written, insightful, very well crafted. Evocative of Vienna etc – vivid pictures of places including General’s castle. Gothic setting …Vehicle for examining the nature of friendship rather than narrative. Some thought it a bit too long. We would recommend this book.
Star rating: ****