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by Sándor Márai
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Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037540757X, Hardcover)Embers . . . Casanova in Bolzano . . . and now The Rebels: the third of the rediscovered novels of the great Hungarian writer—the jolting story of a troubled group of young men on the cusp of life, and death, in World War I.
It is the summer of 1918. As graduation approaches at a boys’ academy in provincial Hungary, the senior class finds itself in a ghost town. Fathers, uncles, older brothers—all have been called to the front. Surrounded only by old men, mothers, aunts, and sisters, the boys are keenly aware that graduation will propel them into the army and imminently toward likely death on the battlefield. In the final weeks of the academic year, four of these young men—and the war-wounded older brother of one of them—are drawn tightly together, sensing in one another a mutual alienation from their bleak, death-mapped future. Soon they are acting out their frustrations and fears in a series of increasingly serious, strange, and subversive games and petty thefts. But when they attract the attention of a stranger in town—an actor with a traveling theater company—their games, and their lives, begin to move in a direction they could not have predicted and cannot control.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:17 -0400)
The rebels here are Hungarian youths in the waning days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire living in a backwater while waiting to be called to the front and a likely death. They form a tight group to sneer at life's absurdities and eventually become involved with an older actor and a sinister pawn broker, with whom the two brothers of the group pawn the family silver for what they hope is the short term.
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