In 1989, the memorable yr while the Wall got here down, a school pupil in Berlin on his early morning run reveals a corpse mendacity on a park bench and signals the experts. This vintage police-procedural scene opens a rare novel, a masterwork that strains the destiny of myriad Europeans - Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Gypsies - around the treacherous years of the mid-twentieth century. The social and political situations in their lives may well fluctuate richly, their sexual and non secular longings could seem to every of them solely distinctive, but Peter Nádas's marvelous tapestry unveils uncanny, reverberating parallels that hyperlink them throughout time and space.
Three strange males are on the center of Parallel Stories: Hans von Wolkenstein, whose German mom is associated with darkish secrets and techniques of fascist-Nazi collaboration through the Forties, Ágost Lippay-Lehr, whose influential father has served Hungary's assorted political régimes for many years, and Andras Rott, who has his personal darkish checklist of darkish actions overseas. they're acquaintances in Budapest once we ultimately meet them within the spring of 1961, a pivotal time within the postwar epoch and of their clandestine careers. however the richly distinctive, dramatic stories and activities of those males, like these in their pals, fans and family, variety from Berlin and Moscow to Switzerland and Holland, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, and naturally, throughout Hungary. The ever-daring, ever-original episodes of Parallel Lives discover the main intimate, so much tough human studies in a prose gleaming with unusual readability and likewise with mysterious uncertainty - as is attribute of Nadas's refined, lively art.
The net of prolonged dramas in Parallel Stories reaches not only ahead to the transformative 12 months of 1989 yet again to the spring of 1939, with Europe trembling at the fringe of warfare; to the bestial occasions of 1944-45, while Budapest was once besieged, the ultimate answer devastated Hungary's Jews, and the battle got here to an finish; and to the cataclysmic Hungarian Revolution of October 1956. yet there's even more to Parallel Stories than that: it's a bold, hard, and extremely relocating exploration of humanity at its so much limited and its so much free.