A remarkable book, this. And one that makes several demands of its readers. It tells the story of a family through a number of centuries, dipping into significant life events and back-referencing to identify the particular family member placed under the microscope.
Starting in Hungary and ending in USA, via France and Mexico, it travels from the 1700s to the mid 2000s in short leaps of fertile imagination. Along the route, the reader is treated to short phrases in some of the languages of the homes encountered, mercifully in context, so the non-linguist can glean essential information.
There are troubling events at the heart of this intelligent work: it is not for the squeamish! Sex, drugs, some violence, and murder feature within the layers of satire, humour, and ranging philosophical themes that build this unusual novel.
Some readers will love the book and will ‘get’ the messages. Others will find it difficult, maybe obscure and perhaps too oddly structured for their tastes. After some initial frustration with the first, rather lengthy, chapter, I was absorbed in this fascinating history and read with enjoyment.
This is the first of several books I read whilst on holiday, lying on a sunbed under the heat of a Mediterranean sun by a calm blue pool. I will review them on here during the next few days.