When renowned film director Péter Gárdos wrote the story, he intended it as a film script, but eventually he made it into a novel. “Fever at Dawn,” the love story of two Holocaust survivors―the author’s parents―has ever since sold in more than 20 territories.
The Gravel Pit Lake did well enough in Hungary but, undeservedly, failed to raise any particular storms. It took a German audience to come and throw laurels amid the waves of the lake. Over the past months, directly after its publication in German translation, the book was lauded in superlatives by the most prestigious dailies and literary forums.
Overwhelming; gut-wrenching; the most significant Hungarian novel of the year, of the decade―Szilárd Borbély’s The Dispossessed, a powerful novel about soul-wracking poverty in a Hungarian village in the 1960s and 70s, has earned such and similar praise.
"The tram came to a stop and I flung what was left of my Multi on the tracks opposite. To hell with Germanic tidiness; I was glad to live in Hungary, where, even if the day-to-day struggle for cash was all-consuming, at least I was free to compensate with such a cynical gesture knowing that others couldn’t care less, and that if they did care, most likely they were on my side; for we were all in the same creaky, splintered wooden boat." – Adventures of a New Jersey-born Hungarian American in post-socialist Hungary.