Under Budapest



[EPUB] ✰ Under Budapest By Ailsa Kay – E17streets4all.co.uk Ailsa Kay lays out the literary equivalent of a jigsaw puzzle in Under Budapest, bringing into stark relief the triumphs, calamities, and desperation of two North American Hungarian families and those Ailsa Kay lays out the literary equivalent of a jigsaw puzzle in Under Budapest, bringing into stark relief the triumphs, calamities, and desperation of two North American Hungarian families and those whose lives they ve touched There s Agnes and Tibor, mother and son, travelling to Hungary for reasons they keep to themselves, he to recover from a disastrous love affair, she to search for a sister gone missing during theHungarian Revolution There s Janos, a self styled player and petty thug, who schemes to make it rich in post communist Hungary And there s Gyula and Zsofi, caught up in a revolution that will change the face of Hungary forever Their lives are all connected by a conflagration of events the legacy of wartime violence, past allegiances, long buried rivalries, and secrets from the pastThrough riveting narratives that spring back and forth through time, Under Budapest captures the drama and ravages of the Hungarian Revolution and the eras that followed A dark ode to memory, Kay s intimate spectacle demonstrates that actions have consequences, that the past cannot be shaken, that all events can carry the possibility of repercussion.Under Budapest

Ailsa Kay s work has appeared in Canadian literary periodicals including Exile, Tessera, and The New Quarterly Under Budapest, a novel in stories, is her first book.

Paperback  · Under Budapest PDF/EPUB ò
    If you re looking for a CBR and CBZ reader Gyula and Zsofi, caught up in a revolution that will change the face of Hungary forever Their lives are all connected by a conflagration of events the legacy of wartime violence, past allegiances, long buried rivalries, and secrets from the pastThrough riveting narratives that spring back and forth through time, Under Budapest captures the drama and ravages of the Hungarian Revolution and the eras that followed A dark ode to memory, Kay s intimate spectacle demonstrates that actions have consequences, that the past cannot be shaken, that all events can carry the possibility of repercussion."/>
  • Paperback
  • 260 pages
  • Under Budapest
  • Ailsa Kay
  • English
  • 24 June 2018
  • 0864926812

10 thoughts on “Under Budapest

  1. says:

    For decades Hungary endured Soviet imposed communism and the internment or executions of political activists and anyone else who dared to speak up Rumour created an extensive underground tunnel and prison system beneath Budapest, and even though proof of its existence has never been found, the legend lives on It is these tunnels that link the dual narratives in Under Budapest, connecting the stories of Tibor, an academic who specialises in Hungarian history, and his mother, Agnes, a Hungarian For decades Hungary endured Soviet imposed communism and the internment or executions of political activists and anyone else who dared to speak up Rumour created an extensive underground tunnel and prison system beneath Budapest, and even though proof of its existence has never been found, the legend lives on It is these tunnels that link the dual narratives in Under Budapest, connecting the stories of Tibor, an academic who specialises in Hungarian history, and his mother, Agnes, a Hungarian who fled the revolution of 1956 for the safety of Canada, with the mysterious disappearance of Agnes teenaged sister, Zsofi, during the Soviet retaliation all those years ago.In 2010, a young Canadian Hungarian man, Janos Hagy, navigates Budapest s streets with his less intelligent friend, Csaba, preying on begging gypsies, scoring dope and looking for a party What Janos finds instead is nothing short of an end to all his scheming dreams.In Toronto, Tibor tries to shake himself out of the funk he found himself in after the break up of his affair with a married woman, Rafaela, by accepting a place as speaker at a conference in Budapest When his mother, Agnes, hears of his new travel plans, she decides to go too In her old age, this could be the last chance she has of finding out what happened to her sister Zsofi in 1956, after the last time she saw ever saw her Having just met another Hungarian immigrant who claims she escaped the underground prison tunnels with Tsofia and another woman, with the help of a guard, Agnes now has reason to hope that her sister survived the revolution.Instead of finding distraction from his relationship blues, Tibor finds a decapitated head on Gellert Hill, and having overheard the voices of the murderers, finds himself becoming implicated in the crime And instead of finding her sister, Agnes finds a way to put the demons of the past to rest, including her own guilt over leaving her sister with Agnes lover and fianc , Gyula, a student leader in the revolution who excels at the art of lying.Their stories weave together and culminate in the mythologised underground tunnels, for beneath Budapest lies all Hungary s secrets, it seems all the things and people that it wants to keep hidden away, buried beneath layers of forgotten history.Long before the revolution of October 1956, the rumours were that the Soviets were tunnelling Their tunnels spread with the speed of rhizomes, under the surface of Budapest The rumours spread the same way, sprouting and multiplying, their source untraceable.When the revolutionaries stormed the Communist Party Headquarters in Koztarsasag Ter on October 30, they found half cooked palascinta farthan would be required to feed the number of prisoners found in the building s cellar prisons Frantic, searchers fanned out into every dank hallway, looking for secret doors, knocking index knuckles on walls that looked solid, testing for hollow There were so few prisoners in the building Where were the hundreds who d vanished Someone had heard shouting from below Someone else had heard a number one hundred and forty prisoners Where were they They had no food, no water Time was running out p.55 It was interesting and, I think, reassuring to read that Ailsa Kay, a Canadian, fell in love with Budapest when she lived there several years ago, because reading this book gives me little urge to visit the country Kay s Budapest is a bleak, grotty place, free of its Soviet reins but still in survival mode, a place of corrupt police and suspicion, of wild parties late at night in abandoned apartment buildings where the wealthy once lived but are which now ready to be torn down if only the government had the money to tear them down From the opening chapter, in which Janos and Csaba encounter a frail gypsy man and a young gypsy boy in a cold and wet underpass and Csaba proceeds to kick and punch the man to death, we get a vivid and heart breaking look into the underbelly of this city It is a scene that sets the tone and atmosphere for the entire novel, making the murder Tibor witnesses almost ordinary in this context.And it does all tie together In this city, with its powerful criminal underworld and its derelict, abandoned neighbourhoods, the sense of threat and danger lurks around every corner When Agnes goes out on her own to try and find the tunnel exits she learned about from the woman who said she escaped with Agnes s sister, she gets caught up in a march, a large group of black clad fascists people who consider themselves to be true Magyars, or ethnic Hungarians calling for Hungary for Hungarians 2010 was the year of the election that saw Jobbik gain a surprising footing in parliament Their name means very right and the best and their campaign carried explicit anti Roma gypsy and anti Semitic sentiments they are closely linked to the Magyar Garda the group of marchers Agnes runs into in the novel, who are quasi military Csaba, the violent youth who kills a homeless Roma, likes to think he is one of them Hungary is fast becoming openly racist and anti Semitic, which creates an atmosphere that puts Agnes in mind of WWII she calls the marchers the Arrow Cross , which was a Nazi group set up by the German Nazis in the 40s With such open hostility towards Others, it is no wonder that the Budapest of Kay s novel is brimming with tension, suspicion, fear, mistrust and outright danger It is also winter, and far from the days of sunshine and warmth.For a relatively short novel, Kay manages to achieve a great deal Her characters have unique and distinctive voices, each transporting you to a different mindset as much as a different place in the story Janos, staying with his grandmother on this trip to Budapest, is a self styled schemer and fancies himself something of an entrepreneur in the making, an ideas man He s bright enough to have ideas and to see a bit farther than his scary friend Csaba, but not so bright that he can t see when he s being played Tibor is asubtle character, a man whose always cast himself in his friend Daniel s larger shadow perhaps this is what prompted him to pursue an affair with Daniel s wife He s an ordinary man, a man you would call good and yet, when he finds himself the sole witness to a crime, he is reluctant to go to the police or give peace of mind to the victim s family He is impatient and embarrassed by his mother, but he is loving and loyal Yes, an ordinary man, someone easy to relate to precisely because he has such everyday flaws.Agnes is a woman who has refused to share her own knowledge, experience and insights of Hungary with her son, which, he thinks, is maybe what led him to specialise in Hungarian history But her silence carries the weight of guilt and self recrimination her memories are painful ones She s a level headed woman, brave enough to flee Hungary while her sister and fianc were brave enough to stay and fight for their country two different kinds of bravery that weren t compatible with each other When we go back in time to those heady days of revolution in 1956 and watch it play out, the Budapest of the past isn t all that different from the one we get to know in 2010 the time in between seems to vanish They are markedly different, and the nostalgia permeates Agnes s scenes in the present, but perhaps because these European countries ruled by the Soviets were in effect stuck in a time warp, with minimal progress, the intervening years have no presence Get my suitcase You cannot go to the National Police Why should you Did you ask to be a witness Mom, stop Did you know this boy He s probably a drug dealer An addict A waste And now he s dead, okay Why do you have to risk your life No, Tibor It s time to go And don t talk to anyone Don t speak to anyone Mom It s not 1956 Yes, it is She turns on him It is It is always 1956 People do terrible things You think they won t, but they do They spy and they lie, and they will tie a man by his ankles and they will light him on fire and they will watch as he burns They will watch Why don t you listen to me, Tibor You never listen to me pp.132 3 While Under Budapest may seem like a criminal thriller of a novel, it has no tidy ending, no tying up of loose ends or an arrested mob boss at the end It isn t a story about crime so much as a story about people, humans caught in the trap of their memories, in their own madness, in their own lies and guilt and pain It is a story of human flaws as much as it is a story of moving beyond them to do an act of good It is a story about the past and how it has a tight hold on Hungary s present, no matter how far away the people emigrate It is a story of the mysteries beneath Budapest, secrets that the people hold onto out of hope as much as fear, because when your loved one goes missing, is arrested and vanishes, it s better to believe they are locked up under Budapest than dead and discarded.My thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book

  2. says:

    It is such a pleasure to write this post My former McMaster colleague I suppose we re still colleagues alumni colleagues and occasional writers group members Ailsa Kay has published a breathtaking novel that I just loved It s something of an odd relief to love it there s a bit of nervousness in reading a novel written by someone you know what if I don t like it with the only risk now that I won t do anything close to justice to how great of a read it is and note that I m not often It is such a pleasure to write this post My former McMaster colleague I suppose we re still colleagues alumni colleagues and occasional writers group members Ailsa Kay has published a breathtaking novel that I just loved It s something of an odd relief to love it there s a bit of nervousness in reading a novel written by someone you know what if I don t like it with the only risk now that I won t do anything close to justice to how great of a read it is and note that I m not often one for reviews filled with effusive praise.The plot is described on the back of the novel as a jigsaw puzzle and I suppose that s an apt comparison with a caveat the early chapters offer apparently discrete plot pieces with separate settings and characters As each subsequent chapter unfolds, however, the reader finds edges to the pieces that echo earlier chapters in a way that confirms the pieces do in fact fit together For instance, I was amazed how the repetition of a single word veritable proved enough of a narrative cue to pull this reader back to the earlier narrator and connect the two pieces The caveat is that I think the puzzle comparison makes too much of discrete parts The only real gap is from the first chapter to the second and from there on this reader felt quite sure that the unfolding plot was crafted in such a way that the pieces were not scattered so much as deliberately and thoughtfully placed one following the other I suppose, though, there is some of the triumph that comes from assembling a puzzle in watching as the whole picture takes shape and in seeing the connections What is most remarkable is the way Kay achieves this pulling together The seamless and truly remarkable ease in which the third person limited narration moves allows the reader to knowthan any one character and so to see the whole in a way the characters themselves cannot For this reader I felt an agonizing frustration as I wanted to share to yell at the characters what I knew so that they might avoid making mistakes and poor choices.This care I felt for the characters is somewhat surprising given that they are, for the most part, not overly sympathetic Tibor, in particular is just so sad His anxiety combined with his fumbling attempts at coming across as self assured are cringe worthy His mother name escapes me at the moment oh wait Agi Agnes is superbly drawn with her different modes of being in Toronto Budapest as clearly marked as the change in her name Oh Speaking of Toronto Budapest what a novel for setting Think back to The Night Circus and the brilliance of setting there this book sees setting as the title suggests as integral to the plot and characters, and is a character in and of itself Budapest has a personality just as much as Tibor or Agi and to a lesser extent Toronto that makes the unfolding history mystery all thecompelling as it reads like a biography rather than simple description Some spoilers While I could gush all day I ought to register my few complaints I was not totally sold on the betrayal of Agi by Gusomethingsomething for Zsofia Gu s explanation of his sudden devotion reads a bit thin, and I might have rather the affair been an ongoing thing rather than something that emerged in the moment of the revolution Though as I write this I see some symbolic merit to this origin point, I still feel the treachery to be too sudden to effect the kind of torment Gu goes on to feel spoilers done That said I cannot I can t recommend this book with anyurgency or conviction Go read it The combination of genius plotting, masterful character development and an utterly rich setting makes it impossible to put down and a true delight to read note I m predicting a bestseller so read it now while it s still hip to be in the know about the hottest new read

  3. says:

    I was very happy to win this book from Goodreads I just finished reading Under Budapest last night I really enjoyed it It was very well written I have read a few books set in Hungary during WWII, but none set there after I loved the parallel interconnected stories set in 1956 and 2010, and the connection to Toronto The best part for me was the relationship between Tibor and his mother, and their inner dialogues that showed how disconnected and connected they were all at once Although I ap I was very happy to win this book from Goodreads I just finished reading Under Budapest last night I really enjoyed it It was very well written I have read a few books set in Hungary during WWII, but none set there after I loved the parallel interconnected stories set in 1956 and 2010, and the connection to Toronto The best part for me was the relationship between Tibor and his mother, and their inner dialogues that showed how disconnected and connected they were all at once Although I appreciate that it was necessary to the story, my only criticism is that at times the coincidences were a bit over the top and distracting Otherwise this was a great read and I highly recommend it, especially to those with a bent for books set in Eastern Europe

  4. says:

    I thought that the author was able to bring her characters to life through amazing dialogue The story included several strands that intertwined and folded around each other giving the reader a look at present day and revolution era Budapest and the effects of war, imprisonment on family.I really liked the writing style and the way the story unfolded This is a book that I would highly recommend, even if the author didn t live in our town

  5. says:

    I got a copy of this book through the GoodReads FirstReads Giveaway.This novel is a real gritty look at a side of Budapest that the normal tourist would not normally see And be prepared for the rough language The raw brutality is seen in the first chapter which instantly grabs the attention of the reader The authour does a masterful job of bringing the diverse stories together She makes great use of flashbacks to explain what is happneing This when the story stats to make sense I found the I got a copy of this book through the GoodReads FirstReads Giveaway.This novel is a real gritty look at a side of Budapest that the normal tourist would not normally see And be prepared for the rough language The raw brutality is seen in the first chapter which instantly grabs the attention of the reader The authour does a masterful job of bringing the diverse stories together She makes great use of flashbacks to explain what is happneing This when the story stats to make sense I found the story to be very intense Despit this, the story was not hard to read The jumping around at time did make think where we were in the story.The title, Under Budapest , is a reference to the the tunnels that everyone there beleives exist There must be urban legends in almost every city in the world What is our fascination The tunnels are a focus for the characters in the book They will explains things, hide things and bring releif The book really deals with the things that go on under our noses The murders that don t solved, the crooked cops and the gangs.I enjoyed the book I would recommend it

  6. says:

    Under Budapest, by Ailsa Kay, is an astonishing novel The story involves a series of characters, Canadians and Hungarians, set in Budapest Rarely have I seen such a complex array of unlikable but completely understandable and strangely moving characters, or such a skillful weaving of lives and incidents into the slow unraveling of a fascinating mystery These characters are so real, so flawed, so full of weaknesses and unpalatable motives that made me squirm because I recognized them in myself Under Budapest, by Ailsa Kay, is an astonishing novel The story involves a series of characters, Canadians and Hungarians, set in Budapest Rarely have I seen such a complex array of unlikable but completely understandable and strangely moving characters, or such a skillful weaving of lives and incidents into the slow unraveling of a fascinating mystery These characters are so real, so flawed, so full of weaknesses and unpalatable motives that made me squirm because I recognized them in myself And yet I was shocked by how much Kay made me care about them I was, slowly but unavoidably, gripped by their lives and troubles, and they have stayed with me As for the plot Kay wove the various, seemingly unrelated threads of her story together so subtly, I was kept guessing downright mystified, actually as to how she would resolve it, and delighted when she did so, splendidly Really, I almost never say this, but you HAVE to read this book

  7. says:

    This was a pretty great book It wasn t flawless some plot twists were fairly obvious, but the characters in the story are SO great they re not spared for their flaws or given a pass for bad behaviour by their creator something I really admire The writing is exceptional I was able to completely turn off my editor brain and just enjoy the show Highly recommend though be warned, it is a bit gritty.

  8. says:

    I did not finish I gave up after five pages extensive language, a beating and a graphic description of assaulting a woman I m not a prude but I could tell this book was going nowhere I wanted to go.

  9. says:

    This book kept me riveted, probably because so much of the mentions in the book were already familiar to me from the stories that I was told by my parents that lived thru the revolution in Hungary My mom, like Agi, keeps many details close to her chest, and doesn t like to talk too much about it So proud of my Hungarian heritage and my ties to that beautiful country.

  10. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel The opening chapter, with brutal subject matter, was hard to get into, but after that I couldn t put the book down The lives of two sisters during the Hungarian Revolution are stunningly presented.

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