The Afterlife of Stars

The Afterlife of Stars

eBook - 2014
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In the waning months of 1956, while Russian tanks roll into the public squares of Budapest to crush the Hungarian Revolution, brothers Robert and Attila Beck flee with their family to the Paris townhouse of their great-aunt Hermina. As they travel through minefields both real and imagined, Robert and Attila grapple with sibling rivalry, family secrets, and incalculable loss to arrive at a place they thought they’d lost forever: home.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Penguin Canada, 2014
ISBN: 9780143192978
Branch Call Number: KERTES
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Sep 03, 2018

A novel set in 1956, when the Russians move in to suppress the Hungarian revolution, is told ostensibly in the voice of a 9.8 year old boy whose family must flee Hungary to relative safety in Paris, where is great aunt lives. Much of the book is spent in meandering philosophising. Along the way, the reader learns of atrocities that were endured by the boy's family, who are Jewish, during WW II. In the end, the boy's older brother dies in Paris' sewer underground, likely killed by thugs. It is a seemingly random, pointless death. The ending points to the family's eventual immigration to Canada. I finished this book because the subject deserves much respect. If you like a lot of tangential discussion and speculation about philosophy, this is the book for you.

May 27, 2017

A moving read, but I found it far too short. The innocence of the narrator tugs at your heart strings as he encounters death and a family secret while fleeing the Hungarian Revolution.


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Dec 14, 2014

"... I was inspired to write a novel about my family's escape from Hungary when I was not yet five. I had vivid and traumatic memories of seeing Hungarian soldiers hanging from lampposts ... and of running by night across a minefield to freedom in Austria. In my novel, I doubled the age of the two brothers so that they could make more sense of the world ..., more sense of displacement, of leaving a life behind, and then something magical happened. ... the book took a surprising turn, one I hadn't anticipated, it surprised me most. [Writing this book] was a transcendental experience." The author interviewed in "The Book Report" of 'The Globe & Mail' newspaper of December 13, 2014.

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