Fateless

Irmre Kertesz

Published by Vintage, 2006
ISBN 10: 0099502526 / ISBN 13: 9780099502524
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272 pages. 7.76x5.08x0.67 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0099502526

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Synopsis: Gyuri, a fourteen-year-old Hungarian Jew, gets the day off school to witness his father signing over the family timber business to the firm's bookkeeper - his final business transaction before being sent to a labour camp. Two months after saying goodbye to his father, Gyuri finds himself assigned to a 'permanent workplace', but within a fortnight he is unexpectedly pulled off a bus and detained without explanation. This is the start of his journey to Auschwitz. On his arrival Gyuri finds that he is unable to identify with other Jews, and in turn is rejected by them. An outsider among his own people, his estrangement makes him a preternaturally acute observer, dogmatically insisting on making sense of everything he witnesses.

From the Back Cover: Fateless is a moving and disturbing novel about a Hungarian Jewish boy’s experiences in German concentration camps and his attempts to reconcile himself to those experiences after the war. Upon his return to his native Budapest still clad in his striped prison clothes, fourteen-year-old George Koves senses the indifference, even hostility, of people on the street. His former neighbors and friends urge him to put the ordeal out of his mind, while a sympathetic journalist refers to the camps as "the lowest circle of hell." The boy can relate to neither cliche and is left to ponder the meaning of his experience alone.
George's response to his experience is curiously ambivalent. In the camps he tries to adjust to his ever-worsening situation by imputing human motives to his inhumane captors. By imposing his logic - that of a bright, sensitive, though in many ways ordinary teenager - he maintains a precarious semblance of normalcy. Once freed, he must contend with the "banality of evil" to which he has become accustomed: when asked why he uses words like "naturally," "undeniably," and "without question" to describe the most horrendous of experiences, he responds, "In the concentration camp it was natural." Without emotional or spiritual ties to his Jewish heritage and rejected by his country, he ultimately comes to the conclusion that neither his Hungarianness nor his Jewishness was really at the heart of his fate: rather, there are only "given situations, and within these, further givens."

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fateless
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2006
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Brand New

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