- Series: Pushkin Blues
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Pushkin Press (January 3, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1901285898
- ISBN-13: 978-1901285895
- Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #993,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pendragon Legend (Pushkin Blues) Paperback – January 3, 2006
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"Szerb was fluent in German and English and greatly interested in unusual religious beliefs. His knowledge of Rosicrucianism and the occult informs this often very funny book, which takes many affectionate potshots at the period's popular fiction. Szerb, who produced a history of English literature, knew his Shakespeare, Blake and Milton, but also the frothier writings of John Buchan, Edgar Wallace and P G Wodehouse." - Paul Bailey, Independent
"The novel shoots back and forth between London and Wales; and, quite astonishingly, there is not a false note in it... Szerb is a master novelist, a comedian whose powers transcend time and language (again, thanks to Rix for his tender approach to the source material), and a playful, sophisticated intellect... There is so much in this book that it is impossible to summarise, except to say that it is a romp, but one which romps within itself; it has fun with the conventions, and has fun with having fun with them, too. It is an absolute treat, deliciously ludic, to be read with a big smile on your face throughout." - Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
"May Szerb's entry into our literary pantheon be definitive." - Alberto Manguel, Financial Times
About the Author
Antal Szerb was born in 1901 into a cultivated Budapest family of Jewish descent. Graduating in German and English, he rapidly established himself as a prolific scholar, publishing books on drama and poetry, studies of Ibsen and Blake, and histories of English, Hungarian and world literature. His first novel, The Pendragon Legend, was written in 1934. Journey by Moonlight appeared in 1937, followed in 1943 by The Queen's Necklace and various volumes of novellas. He died in a forced-labour camp at Balf in January 1945.
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Top Customer Reviews
In fact, the book is a gentle but insightful satire on the mores of the 1920s and l930s, spoofing the British, the Welsh, the Irish, Europeans in general, and especially the British class system. It can be characterized as a gothic fantasy detective story. This veneer of civilization overlays the dark symbolism of the primeval Welsh forest and the even darker workings of those immersed in occult practices. What really happened in that strange hut in the woods? People died, we know, but who was the perpetrator? Readers must decide for themselves.
Recommended for those who like literary fiction and want to do some chuckling in the process.
When he arrives at Pendragon Castle in Wales, Janos is embroiled in intrigue and Gothic horror, including a mysterious horseman that disturbs his sleep as much as the things that go bump in the night. That's as far as I'll go with the story: let it surprise you for maximum effect. There are some fantastic characters and situations to be found in this epic tale and I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in life, laughter and/ or horror. The genuine tragedy is that the author died in a Nazi death camp.
The story is a strange mixture of gothic horror story and light comedy. The Earl Pendragon is a gloomy old gentleman and the history of the family features legendary characters. Rosicrucianism plays an important role in the story. The Finnish publisher advertises the book as Da Vinci Code published 60 years before Dan Brown's novel. This is advertising, of course, but the books belong in the same genre.
The Pendragon Legend is a charming story. It's not high literature, but the plot is clever, Bátky is a lovely lead character and the story has a good vibe to it. I also enjoyed the old-fashioned atmosphere of the 1930's England, and the translator did a good job capturing that in the language used. The Pendragon Legend is a tasty mystery with flavours of horror and occult. (Review based on the Finnish translation.)