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In Praise of Older Women: The Amorous Recollections of András Vajda
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In Praise of Older Women: The Amorous Recollections of András Vajda

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,044 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
"A cool, comic survey of the sexual education of a young Hungarian, from his first encounter, as a twelve-year-old refugee with the American forces, to his unsatisfactory liaison with a reporter's wife in Canada at the belated end of his youth, when he was twenty-three . . . elegantly erotic, with masses of that indefinable quality, style . . . this has the real stuff of i ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 15th 1990 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 1965)
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Despite the outstanding humor, this book saddened me. I read it too late. Had I managed to get hold of this masterpiece when I was a teenager, I would have had a more colorful and satisfactory sex life.

I won't spoil your fun of reading it by giving you the plot. But the author's dedication and a quote from Benjamin Franklin in its first chapter would give you an idea of what the book is all about. The dedication reads:

"This book is dedicated to older women
and is addressed to young men--
and the c
On my first day back to reading friends’ comments on Goodreads after a hiatus of several months, I came across a reference to Stephen Vizinczey. For the months I was away, I hadn’t been able to concentrate on reading myself, but I was anxious to write again. Since my blog is about reading, however, I could only really write if I could read. The title of this book appealed to me and I would see if perhaps I could concentrate.

In Praise… is fiction in the guise of autobiography. The young male char
Feb 14, 2016 Pablo rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. I'm inspired!

Vizinczey, for a non-native English speaker, has a marvellous command of the English language. Highly recommended.

A few gems:

At the age of nine-ten:

Just before we stepped out into the street, I pinched her bottom. She pretended not to notice, but blushed deeply. I decided then to marry Aunt Alice when I grew up, for she understood me.

At the age of fourteen-fifteen, and some failures with girls of his age:

Our English teacher told us that Romeo and Juliet was about the
Lisa Lieberman
Nov 06, 2014 Lisa Lieberman rated it really liked it
Terribly clever, but not in an arch way. Vizinczey's worldliness is somehow fresh. Only at the end of the book does he begin to look at life with tired eyes, no longer quite so eager to embrace (literally and figuratively) all it offers. I especially enjoyed how the budding writer, as an adolescent, applied the lessons he learned from great nineteenth-century authors to his own seduction campaigns:
Perhaps if I hadn't been reading Anna Karenina I wouldn't have been struck by the fact that she was
Darran Mclaughlin
Jul 27, 2011 Darran Mclaughlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mittel-europe
An excellent book. In Praise of Older Women is sexy without being sexist, warm and funny. It has a European sophistication and worldliness without being dry. Vizinczey has a positive attitude in spite of describing going through horrific situations like fleeing the Nazi, participating in the attempted revolution against the Soviets in 56 and becoming a refugee, leaving behind his family and friends. This should be a cult classic that young people read as eagerly as Salinger or Kerouac.
Nov 08, 2008 Tyler rated it did not like it
I think maybe I was expecting something more like a literary equivalent of Francois Truffaut's The Man Who Loved Women: a chronicle of obsessive skirt-chasing that starts out breezy and frivolous, but ends up as a surprisingly poignant picture of a life spent in lust. Unfortunately, this book is nothing so deep, and it's not even really that entertaining. No book of "amorous recollections" should be as lifeless and unengaging as this one. Each one of the book's series of women are rendered in su ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Bev rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mcpl-book
It's hard to believe that I now fit in Andras Vadja's definition of the "older woman" (30s and 40s).....

This is a lushly erotic book that still manages to provide several coy refusals. Just like the experiences cataloged in the amorous recollections of Andras Vadja. It is an engrossing story of a young man growing up among older women; learning to love and to make love from older women...and doing it while going through war and revolution and personal discovery. It has all the eroticism of a tru
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Oct 05, 2011 Jigar Brahmbhatt rated it really liked it
That Vizinczey is a nuanced writer is beyond doubt. Being a European immigrant, he has brilliant command over English language and his amorous descriptions have a subtle wisdom to them. Here is a book which charts the various flings a man has had in his youth, and there was no way I'd have bothered to read it had the book restricted itself to just that. It's a sympathetic and delightful account of the sexual education of one Andras Vajda. For Andras, older women are a medium to learn not only ab ...more
Lisabet Sarai
Mar 27, 2016 Lisabet Sarai rated it really liked it
This slender pseudo-memoir has been on my shelves forever. Honestly, I have no recollection as to where I acquired it, but given the copyright date (1965) and the price scribbled in ballpoint pen on the flyleaf, I suspect a used bookstore (in some country...) was involved.

I'm pleased to see that it's still available, in several editions, because it's a delightful book--witty, self-deprecating, socially astute, politically informative and impressively erotic. I say "impressively" because despite
Bastian Greshake
Mar 02, 2014 Bastian Greshake rated it it was amazing
Yet another review on a subject I'm totally biased on. With only one notable exception I've only had serious relationships with what would qualify for 'older women' in the sense of this book, so take this with the needed grain of salt.

Vizinczey gives his motivation for this semi-autobiographical book right away in the introduction: “This book is addressed to young men and dedicated to older women – and the connection between the two is my proposition. I'm not an expert on sex, but I was a good
I read a few pages once while browsing in a bookshop. Maiden aunts, stay well clear.
Aug 08, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this is interesting. I picked up this book because I remembered seeing the movie on television many years ago when I must have been in my mid-teems. My memory has it that it was a Francois Truffaut directed movie, but having checked this just now I see that I might be confusing it with Truffaut's "The Man Who Loved Women". Yet I'm certain there was a section in the movie featuring a woman who was 'frigid' and therefore I guess it must have been George Kaczender's 1978 "In Praise Of Older W ...more
Oct 04, 2010 Thechicgeek rated it it was amazing
In Praise of Older Women is delightful. I thoroughly enjoyed Stephen Vizincezey's charming tale and his joy and praise for women. I found myself smiling and laughing as I read along with his adventures. This is a man I would love to meet! If you're looking for a light and fun escape from the world, open and read this classic! You won't be disappointed.
Feb 17, 2014 Philipp rated it really liked it
A lot of fun and the kind of book I wish I had read earlier, at, let's say, around 16? Contains immense respect and love towards humans, especially women. And it's fun!

Recommended for: people who visit Reddit's redpill, so they can see what they're missing, stuck in their weird worldview.
Michael D
Aug 06, 2011 Michael D rated it really liked it
A well written bildungsroman of a Hungarian man and his troubled entrance into the sexual arena - I loved the distant gaze of the main character and his descriptions of sex, war and emotional intrigue ring totally true. Not a word wasted either - always a good thing.
Justin Rock
Dec 21, 2010 Justin Rock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I would have found this book when I was 16. This journey of a young man discovering and exploring his sexuality is both humorous and tragic. Mostly, this book offers a glimpse into the human experience and struggles of relating to others sexually.
Dec 01, 2009 Kakanier rated it it was amazing
Die deutsche Übersetzung ist leider viel lebendiger als das englische Original. Vizinczey hat es ein bischen zu ernst genommen mit der Knappheit.
Feb 23, 2009 Georg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english, classic
If you like the English language, if you like sex, and if you like Hungary (no particular order here), this is your book.
Darren Chin
Jan 11, 2016 Darren Chin rated it it was amazing
I only wished I had read it before I turned 20 but in many ways, I am glad to have read it now that I am 23, to better my understanding of the things Vizinczey has to say. The book really brings to life the ignorance of boys for that holy grail of young male existence: sex and all the roses and thorns that comes with it in pursuit of a seemingly inane act. I don't know if non-males will like it, but they'd definitely enjoy it regardless. People say its comical but I think that it is one of the m ...more
Mar 17, 2016 Zei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ce que j'aimerais savoir est ceci: Andras est-il Stephen ou ce personnage est totalement fictif?
Aussi incroyablement variées et passionnantes que ces aventures elles restent proches de la nature humaine, si véridiques et si agrémentées de détails infimes qui vous font croire en leurs véracités.
Les femmes, d'un éventail d'âge assez large et étendu, des adolescentes pré-pubères aux vieilles presque séniles, dont la plupart témoignent d'une ardeur et d'une féminité sans égal, sont vicieuses, langou
Feb 05, 2012 DoctorM rated it really liked it
Anyone who knows me should be well aware of the irony here--- someone with my tastes in lovely young companions reading a book with this title when I could be pursuing leggy comp-lit co-eds.'s a rather clever Bildungsroman, a lovely tale about a young Hungarian emigre and the lessons about life and love he learns from a series of older women. Vizinczey toys with making his hero (who may just be his alter ego) a kind of Julien Sorel, but then moves away from the darker side of that lin ...more
Ahmed Moghazy
Sep 06, 2014 Ahmed Moghazy rated it liked it
رواية غريبة بعض الشيء، فهي تسرد سيرة بطلها الهنغاري أندراش من خلال إستعراض تجاربه مع النساء الناضجات من بداية مراهقته حتى أواخر عشريناته، مع تعديده لأسباب تفضيلة للنساء الناضجات عن الفتيات المراهقات أو الشابات من ذات عمره، وفي نفس الوقت يستعرض أحوال بلاده في تلك الفترة المضطربة من وقت الحرب العالمية الثانية و الإجتياح النازي، ثم تحت الحكم الشيوعي بعدما إنضمت بلاده للمعسكر الشرقي إبان الحرب الباردة، وصولا للإجتياح السوفييتي الذي أدى لهجرته إلى كندا و منها إلى أمريكا في نهاية الرواية.
الرواية مكتوب
Benjamin Karam
May 25, 2016 Benjamin Karam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than a book about women, 'In Praise of Older Women' is about war and changing landscapes, about war and the social relationships it harbors. Underneath it all, it is the story of a boy growing up amidst the company of older women. It is different from a proustian recollection but equally potent and beautiful. I regret not having read this book sooner.

Highly recommended for both sexes.
Jan 11, 2012 Kape rated it it was amazing
This is definitely one of the best books I've read. I am only sorry that I haven't read it when I was younger as it think it would've helped me understand relationships with women much better and not make bunch of mistakes I've made as an adolescent.

However, I definitely think Vizinczey's best book is An Innocent Millionaire. If you can find it (because it is out of print) - pick it up and read it... it contains so many insights and for me - it's definitely a masterpiece that can rightfully stan
Dana Burda
Feb 07, 2016 Dana Burda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cartea a fost scrisa de autorul Stephen Vizinczey in 1965 la cativa ani dupa ce fugise din Ungaria natala dupa revolutia din 1956. Cartea este formata de fapt asa cum si precizeaza subtitul din " Amintirile amoroase ale lui Andras Vajda". Pentru mine a fost o uriasa surpiza pentru ca toate prezentarile inclusiv cele de pe ultima coperta o prezinta ca fiind un roman erotic pe cand eu am fost atrasa de amintirile in sine legate de o perioada damatica din istoria lumii in special si a Ungariei in p ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
A terrific book. Published in 1965.
A young man comes of age in post-war, USSR-occupied Hungary. He convincingly conveys the drabness, tedium, loss of freedom of speech and pervasive fear in the police state that Hungary became. He eagerly participates in the 1956 uprising, yet he notes, "[I] could not feel a sense of righteousness: fighting against Russian occupation and a vicious and incompetent dictatorship, I found myself shooting at bewildered Ukrainian peasant boys who had as much reason to
Jun 22, 2007 Mads rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was crazy about this book when I was in high school. I liked the line about how young lovers are like the blind leading the blind. According to the author, the younger man-older woman is more of a European tradition. They have a "healthy" respect for age. While Americans are freakishly obsessed with youth. I'm not sure about Asian cultures? Maybe too diverse to give a sweeping statement?
María Paz Greene
Jan 30, 2016 María Paz Greene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De los primeros libros que jamás tuve, me gustó aunque lo encontré un poco exagerado, demasiado obvio que él fuera joven e ingenuo, y ella madura y "enseñadora", por así decirlo. Me pareció la versión porno y adulta de "El niño que enloqueció de amor", jajaja, y no me lo tomé en serio. En especial, cuando supe que no era realmente autobiográfico.

Ha pasado harto tiempo, en todo caso. Tal vez sea hora de leerlo de nuevo. Viniendo de un colegio ultra católico, teniendo una educación ultra pechoña,
Ad Blankestijn
"In Praise of Older Women" was written in lucid English by Hungarian born author Stephen Vizinczey (1933). Published in 1965, it has since come to be regarded as a small classic of modern literature. It is a sort of "Vita Sexualis" (to borrow the title of a novel by Japanese author Mori Ogai), a "Bildungsroman" with the emphasis on the sexual development of the protagonist. In fact, the background details of the narrator’s childhood in Hungary match Vizinczey’s own. Happily the narrator doesn't ...more
Nick Davies
Jan 31, 2016 Nick Davies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this novel, told from the point of view of a young Hungarian man learning the ways of the world - in particular with regard to the ways of love and of the flesh.

The book purports to be about older women - this is partly true, but for me it was much more concerned with men and the male psyche. It also purports to be highly erotic, which I didn't really find to be the case - it was beautifully written, frank and explicit, but to me it was more witty than erotic. For the book to be classe
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Sexy Mature Ladies 1 14 Feb 25, 2012 10:21AM  
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Hungarian author who studied under George Lukacs at the University of Budapest and graduated from the city's Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in 1956. Two of his plays were banned by the Hungarian Communist regime and in he took part in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. After a short stay in Italy, he ended up in Canada speaking only 50 words of English, and eventually taking Canadian citizenship. He ...more
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“I wonder, what kind of life would I have had if it hadn’t been for my mother’s tea-and-cookie parties? Perhaps it’s because of them that I’ve never thought of women as my enemies, as territories I have to conquer, but always as allies and friends - which I believe is the reason why they were friendly to me in turn. I’ve never met those she-devils you hear about: they must be too busy with those men who look upon women as a fortress they have to attack, lay waste and left in ruins.” 7 likes
“I had affairs with a few girls of my own age, and they taught me that no girl, however intelligent and war-hearted, can possibly know or feel half as much at twenty as she will at thirty-five.” 5 likes
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