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Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi

Skylark (1923)

by Dezső Kosztolányi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4472235,276 (3.94)58
  1. 20
    Villette by Charlotte Brontë (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Skylark reminded me of Lucy Snowe, with the difference being that Skylark's parents are living and insulate her from some of the bleak realities that Lucy Snowe must confront.
  2. 00
    Katalin Street by Magda Szabó (gust, gust)
  3. 00
    The Door by Magda Szabó (gust)

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» See also 58 mentions

English (19)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Quality of Writing: 8.72
Glad you read it?: 8.86
  bookclub4evr | Dec 1, 2017 |
"So many tears. In all the world she had never thought there could be so many tears", 2 April 2016

This review is from: Skylark (New York Review Books Classics) (Paperback)
The novel opens with a family preparing for their daughter going away to stay with relatives. It's only for a week, but as the train departs, Mother and Father 'could already feel their loneliness. Swelling painfully, it hovered around them in the silence.' They are saddened too by the unspoken knowledge of their daughter's ugliness, the fact that she will never marry.
This novel focuses not on Skylark's holiday but on the week her parents spend. The family usually live quietly, economically. Their daughter does the cooking - good, plain food. But how will things go when they must manage alone?
Enjoyable, comic in places but very sad too. ( )
  starbox | Apr 2, 2016 |
The title makes one think of beautiful creatures but the book is about a spinster and her parents. The spinster, Skylark, is ugly and has not managed to catch a husband. Her disappointment, and her parents', is hidden from each other by the life they create for themselves.

The book is funny, insightful, and poignant. Parents hurt when their children do, don't they? And a child suffers when the parents are disappointed. This tug between parents and child is beautifully depicted in the book, and the unexpected end could leave you misty-eyed. ( )
  gitavreddy | May 7, 2015 |
Skylark, unmarried, 35, and still living with her parents, goes to visit relatives for a week. In her absence, her parents indulge in lost pleasures that they had abandoned. On the final night, however, her father has a sudden insight about Skylark that he shares with his wife. The final chapters--well, I don't want to give anything away. Great book.

Most of the book is wonderfully sensual--food, theatre, cards, drinking, all against the backdrop of small town Hungarian life in 1899. ( )
  ipsoivan | Apr 19, 2014 |
A one day read, a little over 200 pages. Translated from the Hungarian. The author lived 1885 to 1936. Takes place in 1899. An old couple’s old maid of a daughter goes away for a week, to visit family. The old couple, at first bereft at the absence of their unexciting and uninteresting daughter, soon surprise themselves by discovering a social world outside of their reclusive home. They rediscover old friends, restaurants, the theatre. It is a comic novel — his descriptions of the daughter in particular are cutting, yet all done in a style of “I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em” A gently comic novel, with unerringly accurate and insightful descriptions of motives, relationships. Best of all were his descriptions of the ugly old maid daughter of the old couple. ( )
1 vote BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dezső Kosztolányiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aczel, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eisterer, HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Esterházy, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kammer, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rakusa, IlmaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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De divan in de eetkamer was bezaaid met stukjes koord in de nationale kleuren, eindjes paktouw en snippers papier.

The dining-room sofa was strewn with strands of red, white and green cord, clippings of packing twine, shreds of wrapping paper and the scattered, crumpled pages of the local daily, the same fat letters at the top of each page: Sarszeg Gazette, 1899.
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In 1899, in the provincial heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, unintelligent, unimaginative, unattractive, and unmarried Skylark cooks and sews for her parents and anchors the unremitting tedium of their lives. When Skylark goes away for a week, they find themselves eating at restaurants, reconnecting with old friends, and attending the theater. Is there a world beyond the daily grind and life's creeping disappointments?… (more)

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Average: (3.94)
2 4
2.5 1
3 16
3.5 6
4 46
4.5 9
5 18

NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590173392, 159017402X

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