This book feels a lot like typical B-grade science fiction: great premise, great concept, shoddy execution. The first short story will give you a good idea of whether you're going to enjoy the book or not - it has a weak eastern European stereotype (the author is aware of Slajov Zizek clearly) and beats you over the head with its moral, but still manages to be enjoyable thanks to some skillfully described situations and locations with a strong narrator's voice (if that's the term?)
I give this book a meh out of three shrugs.
This is a collection of 13 stories, each in some way connected to the siege of Budapest at the end of WW II. These stories also communicate the texture of the Hungarian immigrant community in Canada. While there are some interesting ideas, the stories are somewhat overwritten and repetitive.
Very well written, some original plot points (especially ‘The Animals of the Budapest Zoo’), but for me the characters need to be more fully developed.
Well writen; but, rather "drap" and somewhat bizarre short stories. Somewhat interesting;l but, not enough to read all the stories
While I was attracted to the style which reminded me of European story telling, the stories themselves were missing something crucial. They did not go anywhere which is the craft and beauty of a short story. And while I could not read any more of them, the first four stories were very depressing.
Winner, Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize 2012. Jury citation: "From the dark cityscapes of besieged Hungary to the émigré cafés of contemporary North America, Siege 13 spans continents and decades, and in doing so illustrates once again that old maxim: the short story can be both as broad and as deep as a novel. At times gently humorous, at times quietly wise, Dobozy’s thirteen stories dazzle with their psychological nuance and brilliant attention to detail. These stories are never less than breathtaking."
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