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By Zsigmond Moricz

Written by Hungary’s greatest modern novelist, Be Faithful Unto Death is the moving story of a bright and sensitive schoolboy growing up in an old, established boarding school in the city of Debrecen in eastern Hungary. Misi, a dreamer and would-be writer, is falsely accused of stealing a winning lottery ticket. The torments brought on by this incident which he is forced to undergo, and from which he grows, are superbly described, as Stephen Vizinczey’s new translation unleashes the full power of Moricz’s prose. First published in 1921, the novel is brimming with vivid detail from the provincial life that Moricz knew so well, and shot through with a sense of the tragic fate of a newly truncated Hungary. But ultimately it is the universal quality of the experience captured here, and the author’s uncanny ability to rediscover for the reader precisely what it feels like to be that child, which makes this portrait of the artist as a young boy not merely a Hungarian, but an international classic. (Book Description via Good Reads)

Published: English version 1996, Hungarian original 1920

Review 11 cover

Read and Reviewed: August 2013

This was a beautifully written story. Many of the characters were wonderfully and vividly described. They had me laughing out loud at some of their antics. At other points, I was wondering what was going to happen next and hoping the best for Misi and some of the others.

The writing style might take a little time to get into but once you do it’s really good. The plot is also a little slow to start.

I also learned some interesting pieces about Hungarian history and culture from this book (mainly Mr. Nagy’s speech to Misi though there were a few other parts).

I’m glad I picked this book up though I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending.

My rating: 4 stars

Add this book to your book shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/249193.Be_Faithful_Unto_Death