The Afterlife of Stars

The Afterlife of Stars

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
2
1
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.

In beautifully crafted writing that burns with intensity and humour, Joseph Kertes explores displacement and uncertainty in a dark time from the perspective of two boys filled with wonder at the world around them.

Publisher: Toronto : Penguin, 2014.
ISBN: 9780143191483
Characteristics: 248 pages ; 23 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

g
gvlee
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.

r
rileykernaghan
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.

Summary

Add a Summary

l
Liber_vermis
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.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at OPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top