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Be Faithful Unto Death

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Written by Hungary's greatest modern novelist, Be Faithful Unto Death is the moving story of a bright and sensitive schoolboy growing up in an old, established boarding school in the city of Debrecen in eastern Hungary. Misi, a dreamer and would-be writer, is falsely accused of stealing a winning lottery ticket. The torments brought on by this incident which he is forced t ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 15th 1996 by Central European University Press (first published 1920)
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20th Century Hungarian Literature
22nd out of 117 books — 86 voters
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Books Set in Hungary
56th out of 65 books — 34 voters

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Oct 18, 2007 Eli rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers of Hungarian literature
This is a Hungarian classic about a boy who moves to study in Debrecen. It's a beautiful tale of childhood and Hungary.
This was a beautifully written story. Many of the characters were wonderfully and vividly described. They had me laughing out loud at some of their antics. At other points, I was wondering what was going to happen next and hoping the best for Misi and some of the others.

The writing style might take a little time to get into but once you do it's really good. The plot is also a little slow to start.

I also learned some interesting pieces about Hungarian history ans culture from this book (mainly
May 10, 2009 Katri marked it as on-hold  ·  review of another edition
Basically, I really really liked this book, but it's style is rather literary and difficult to read when my brain is totally taxed by the stress of a new workplace, new country and learning a difficult language, so I had it sent back to Finland in someone's luggage and will be taking it up again when I return home in July. It's really interesting, but the writing style isn't the easiest to get into, somehow. So it's on hold until I've got more of my brain back.
David Koblos
Yet one more book about the trials and tribulations of a 19th century boarding school student. This one, however, is causing most of his own trouble, simply by trying to be so "good" that it hurts. Hailed as a exceptional childhood novel, the author's intention was to illustrate the abuse and exploitation of goodness. In this sense, it is a full-on success. I'm not sure if I would recommend it as an example for life, though.
Still after this many years I think about this book and still after these years I say to myself: Be good until you die... A very good novel.
Chuck LoPresti
This is the Hungarian James T. Farrell. Only Gombrowicz and Proust understood the development of a young writer with comparable clarity.
The finest description of boyhood hopes and fears I've ever read.
everybody has to read it!
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Móricz was a novelist, short-story writer, and playwright associated with the literary journal Nyugat (The West). In his early works, Móricz described the grim reality of the countryside in a stark, naturalistic manner. His later novels about the upper classes are less forceful than the early ones. Among his best-known novels are The Torch (1917) and those of his trilogy Transylvania (1922-35). Mó ...more
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