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A Fabulous Liar by Susann Pásztor

A Fabulous Liar (2010)

by Susann Pásztor

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261584,796 (2.83)5



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I was wondering if it would be possible to write a "light-hearted comedy" (as the book was announced) against the background of the horrors of the Buchenwald concentration camp. And I was curious how in this case the history of a postwar Jewish generation would be told.

The story of Pásztor is a series of stories in which one story contains the germ of the next story. Story after story the slow unraveling of the family history follows. On the first page the family is put down as a not quite ordinary family in which stories and fantasy play a large role. This creates expectations and Pásztor dissolves those expectations partially. I was surprised at the ingenious way in which she weaves the stories together.

At the same time the book was to short for me: it had some story lines that could be better developed. Now some characters remain somewhat superficial, although they have enormous potential. Oddly enough granddaughter Lidy, from whose perspective the story is told, remains the most superficial.

As with all Jewish histories prosecution plays a major role, whether in the twentieth century or the centuries before: unfortunately this is a recurring element. In this case it is the Holocaust and the (alleged) internment in Buchenwald of grandfather Joschi. But Joschi has told everyone around him a different version of the family history and therefore the family struggles with the truth, their Jewish identity and with each other. Eventually a reconciliation follows and also a solemn commemoration around Buchenwald.

After finishing this book I concluded that Pásztor has succeeded to preserve the balance between seriousness and humor and has written an entertaining story. A promising debut! ( )
  sneuper | Sep 2, 2012 |
Ernst en humor; ze liggen dicht bij elkaar in de debuutroman Een fabelachtige leugenaar van Susann Pásztor, dochter van een Duitse moeder en een Hongaars-joodse vader.

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susann Pásztorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lesener, IngeborgTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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An einem sonnigen Herbstmorgen im September 1959 schickte József Molnár sich an, seinem Leben ein Ende zu setzen.
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Joschi Moln?r is an enigma: father, supposed Holocaust survivor, fabulous liar. After his death his three surviving children are left with contrasting versions of his life, yet corresponding attitudes to their childhood - his lasting legacy is one of confusion, unanswered questions and irrevocable differences. On what would have been their father's 100th birthday, the Moln?r children - along with Joschi's sixteen-year-old granddaughter, Lily - stage an awkward reunion; and in a lively Italian restaurant, as they remember the man that none of them really knew, their shared history dissolves into tall tales, fights, confessions and laughter.… (more)

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