Under Budapest by Ailsa KayUnder Budapest by Ailsa Kay

Under Budapest

byAilsa Kay

Paperback | April 9, 2013

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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 the 1956 Hungarian 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 past.

Through 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.

Ailsa Kay fell in love with Budapest on a 2004 visit and has since lived there off and on for short intervals. She has taught writing at college and university where she has learned from her students to laugh a lot, swear occasionally, and always risk that leap of faith. Kay's short fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Ex...
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Title:Under BudapestFormat:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.72 inPublished:April 9, 2013Publisher:Goose Lane EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0864926812

ISBN - 13:9780864926814

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is a beautifully written book. Like Hosseini (The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed), Kay writes from the point of view of a number of characters, slowly but surely weaving their stories together into the tale she is telling. Kay's writing is tighter, edgier and more gripping than Hosseini's, however. Her ability to reveal an unsavoury or flawed character in a way that makes the reader identify with, or at least completely understand, that character, is uncanny. Her stories are compassionate without being the least bit sentimental. Kay is an author to watch.
Date published: 2013-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from under the city 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.
Date published: 2013-05-30

Editorial Reviews

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 the 1956 Hungarian 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 past. Through 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."Stylishly conjures both the horror of Soviet Hungary as well as the emotional hangover suffered by the country following its liberation. Furthermore, it manages to do so in effortless, page-turning style — it's a wonderful novel." — Robert Hough, author of Dr. Brinkley's Tower