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Budapest Noir (Gordon Zsigmond #1)

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3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  370 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Per uno dei primi grandi noir che arrivano dall’Est, non poteva esserci ambientazione più adatta di questa cupa e affascinante Budapest d’anteguerra, con le sue notti torbidamente viziose, il fascismo sempre più aggressivo, le atmosfere di una grande capitale alla fine di un’epoca.
Budapest 1936. Il protagonista è Zsigmond Gordon, giornalista di cronaca giudiziaria. Un gior
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Paperback, Dal mondo, 272 pages
Published October 2009 by e/o (first published February 1st 2008)
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Embers by Sándor MáraiJourney by Moonlight by Antal SzerbFatelessness by Imre KertészThe Paul Street Boys by Ferenc MolnárThe Door by Magda Szabó
20th Century Hungarian Literature
67th out of 131 books — 127 voters
Embers by Sándor MáraiThe Invisible Bridge by Julie OrringerThe Skin of Water by G.S.  JohnstonThe City of Earthly Desire by Francis BergerA Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Books Set in Hungary
45th out of 77 books — 43 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 754)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Mar 23, 2013 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeffrey by: Will Byrnes
”Maids drank ground-up match heads to poison themselves and flung themselves in front of trams. Barbers dismembered their lovers. Divorcees slashed their veins with razors. Tradesmen’s apprentices leaped off the Franz Joseph Bridge. Jealous civil servants cut their wives to shreds with butcher knives. Businessmen shot their rivals with revolvers. The possibilities were endless, and yet they were oppressively the same, for the end was always identical.”

 photo Budapest1930s_zps5290bcfe.jpg
Budapest 1930s

This book is set in the 1930s
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Will Byrnes
Jan 23, 2013 Will Byrnes rated it liked it
Budapest Noir is a fun, engaging mystery set you-know-where. The time is 1930s, so there have to be some whiffs of things German and Italian in the air. Our hero is an intrepid crime reporter who is intrigued by the death of a young woman, a death the police, including his detective friend, are eager to ignore. Pull the thread and see how much unravels.

I read this front to back on a flight to Vegas. It is a wonderful way to help pass those hours in which one's knees do battle with the seat ahea
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Mohikanos
Απλά μια ωραία ιστορία και τίποτα περισσότερο. Βασικά, άλλη μια χαμένη ευκαιρία για ένα ενδιαφέρον μυθιστόρημα, δίνοντας ωστόσο ελαφρυντικά στο συγγραφέα επειδή είναι το πρώτο του βιβλίο.
Έχουμε λοιπόν ένα βιβλίο που θα μπορούσε να έχει ωραίες περιγραφές της Βουδαπέστης στα τέλη της δεκαετίας του 30, αλλά αρκείται σε απλή καταγραφή του περιβάλλοντος (ουσιαστικά ο συγγραφέας μας δίνει έναν οδηγό χάρτη της πόλης, αναφέροντας συνεχώς ονόματα δρόμων όπως: Τότε ο ήρωας πήρε αυτόν το δρόμο, πέρασε τον
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Judith
Nov 29, 2011 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1930's Budapest, a young woman dressed as a prostitute, is found dead in an alley. In her purse is a Jewish prayer book

Budapest, in 1936, was no place for a Jew, or an inquisitive newspaper editor, as Zsigmund Gordon soon discovers, once he begins his own investigation of the "non crime"

A knowledge of Hungarian history isn't necessary, to understand the story herein, but it helps.....the narrative itself fills a lot of blanks...but the story itself is pretty basic. A coffee factor's daughter
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Lakis Fourouklas
Feb 21, 2012 Lakis Fourouklas rated it it was amazing
I guess the title tells it all, as in this book we do indeed have a Budapest Noir. However it’s not a modern day noir, since the events it describes take place in the famous city in 1936, just after the death of a populist leader who wanted to impose a fascist regime.
The good Hungarian author, who was born in 1954, gives us a bleak view of the city, whose people seem to constantly walk on a tightrope between dream and desperation. On the one hand we have the politicians with their big words and
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Nathalie Fytrou
Δεν με κέρδισε. Δεν κατάφερα ποτέ να μπω στο πνεύμα του, σίγουρα ευθύνεται και η μετάφραση που με αποξένωνε από το κείμενο. Το τέλειωσα μόνο και μόνο επειδή εκτυλισσόταν στη Βουδαπέστη προπολεμικά και αυτό το πλαίσιο είχε πιο πολύ ενδιαφέρον από την ίδια την ιστορία.
Lammoth
Oct 29, 2015 Lammoth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Голяма част от източноевропейската литература засяга вече станалите банални теми за безкрайни преходи, комунизъм, икономически и социално-битови кризи. Еднообразието започва да замества жанровото богатство, както в киното, така и в литературата. Вилмош Кондор е жанров автор, а такива все по-малко пробиват в Източна Европа.

За разлика от множеството негови сънародници, на чийто книги попадах, Кондор е заложил на на един позабравен жанр - хард-бойл детективските романи, които впоследствие зараждат
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Πάνος Τουρλής
Βουδαπέστη, Οκτώβριος 1936. Το πτώμα μιας ωραίας, κομψοντυμένης εβραιοπούλας εντοπίζεται στην πιο κακόφημη γειτονιά της πόλης. Ο αστυνομικός ρεπόρτερ Ζίγκμοντ Γκόρντον σπεύδει εκεί για το ρεπορτάζ του. Καθώς μαζεύει τις πρώτες πληροφορίες νιώθει ότι πολλά πράγματα δεν «κολλάνε» κι αρχίζει τη δική του έρευνα, μια έρευνα που θα τον οδηγήσει σε σαλόνια πλούσιων εμπόρων, καναβάτσα πυγμαχίας, ορεινά θέρετρα και θα τον φέρει αντιμέτωπο με τον κίνδυνο και τον θάνατο.

Καλογραμμένο και γρήγορο, με εκπλήξ
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Petra
Mar 14, 2015 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying that mysteries aren't my favorite genre and a rating of 3 is my "go to" for them.
This was an interesting story. Gordon, a journalist, knows all the ins & outs in Budapest, he's got the connections and he knows how to get the information. There is a lot of description of Budapest as he takes the tram from place to place and walks along the streets.
As for the mystery, it's fairly typical, I think: chunky, violent bad guys, scared victims and people caught up in circums
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Anna
Jun 25, 2012 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2012
Budapest, 1936. The prime minister's death makes it unremarkable and unnoticed that the body of a prostitute is found in the red light district a few nights later. When journalist Zsigmond Gordon happens to the scene of her death (or at least body), he can't rest until he's unearthed what happened and who the dead girl is.
The atmosphere is classic noir. And it's probably also part of the noir that the characters leave you cold.

There are some odd and funny pieces in the story.
One of them is that
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Jim
Dec 31, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, ebooks, fiction
“And aren’t you curious even now about what a Jewish streetwalker would have been doing here?” Krisztina fixed her eyes on Gordon. “And as long as we’re on the subject, have you ever seen a Jewish prostitute? If you want my opinion, the question is not how she died, but how a Jewish girl—probably from a respectable, bourgeois family—ended up becoming a prostitute in the first place.”

This passage summarizes the main mystery in the book and sets up the reader for a richly engrossing and atmospheri
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Zan
May 14, 2015 Zan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Роман доста под средното ниво криминалета.Предвоенните теми са особено интересни и богати на истории, но и много деликатни. Авторът се е справил не лошо с деликатността, но интересът се губи бързо от липсата на пълнота и завършеност при героите.Главният герой – Жигмонд ми стана доста симпатичен с упорството си да открие истината (както и в класическите криминалета), но за сметка на това авторът е "осакатил" помощниците му!Катерина е приятелката му(артист, художник),която "прехвърча" от сцена в с ...more
Booksy
May 26, 2014 Booksy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
A dark crime novel set in 1936 Budapest, right after the death of the then Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös. The "Evening" reporter ends up investigating the death of a young woman found in the red-light district. Political intrigue, historical scene and the amazing sense of place that the author gave to this novel made the otherwise quite an ordinary investigative crime writing shine.
I found the best way to read this novel is with the Google Maps open on your screen: you will be able to follow the
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Ward
A good debut, a criminal-political mystery set in Budapest Hungary during 1936 commencing with a murdered Jewess, well-dressed but found in a shady part of town. The protagonist is a newspaper investigative reporter, Gordon, who senses a big story, especially since just hours before the discovered death he'd seen a pornographic picture of the girl while waiting in vacant office of x, Unit V chief of murder investigations, Gellert. What I liked most about the book was the strong portrayal of the ...more
Babette
Jan 22, 2015 Babette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I found this book in the hotel where I stayed in Budapest in December and read it shortly after I returned home. I supposed my view is biased by the fact that I love the city and could easily follow the action through the various locales (I have visited there five times). The story is set in the 1930s, between the two wars but with the threat of Hitler looming to the west.
The main character is a newspaper reporter who is intrigued by the death of a young woman found in the street of a questiona
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Charles Moore
Apr 22, 2015 Charles Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Budapest Noir by Vilmos Kondor is set during the early rise of Hitler in Germany and the quick subjugation of nearby Hungary. The protagonist is crime-beat reporter who gets into the dark side of Jewish hatred and Nazi fear in the city. It is a well thought through plot and seems to me a very careful attention to historic details.

Our hero has a grandfather that likes to cook, a girlfriend who is an artist, and knows just enough people to help him to move freely through the underworld of Budapes
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Ari
Aug 10, 2015 Ari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I started to read this crime novel I thought I would like it very much. At first I did as the surroundings and characters were slightly different from the genre in general. And I have also always loved Budapest as a city.

But the novelty soon wore off. In the end there was not any special twist in the plot or any special way in telling the story.
The Budapest street map would have been useful (just for the interest's sake) but that's it.
Probably the picture of the times in question and the
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Tuomo Polo
Ihan kiinnostavaa lukea välillä jotakin muuta dekkaria kuin tuttua kotimaista tai pohjoismaista. Virkistävää tämä oli silläkin, ettei tässä mässäilty jatkuvalla kännäämisellä tai irtosuhteilla vaan keskityttiin olennaiseen. Toki mukana oli tuttu pieni säväys romantiikkaa. Teoksen yhteydessä näkyy useaan otteeseen mainitun, että teksti kulkee film noir -hengessä. Se on varmaankin melko osuvasti sanottu. Sellainen mielikuva kyllä hiipii mieleen.

Ei tämä nyt kuitenkaan mitään elämää suurempaa tarjon
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Emily
Επιτέλους ένα αστυνομικό χωρίς όλο αυτό το αρρωστημένο υπόστρωμα της πρόσφατης βορειοευρωπαϊκής μόδας! Επιτέλους ένα "παλιομοδίτικο" αστυνομικό! Ένα αστυνομικό με "ελεγχόμενο" αίμα!
Ίσως, μία μερίδα του κοινού που διαβάζει αστυνομικά να έχει κοπωθεί από το τόσο αίμα που ρέει στις σελίδες των βιβλίων τα τελευταία χρόνια. Για αυτούς λοιπόν υπάρχει το βιβλίο του Vilmos Kondor.

Μου άρεσε, διαβαζόταν γρήγορα, είχε συμπαθητικό ήρωα και κυρίως αδέκαστο αν και δημοσιογράφο!
Στη Βουδαπέστη του 1936, ένας δ
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Bill Lewis
Jun 04, 2013 Bill Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Budapest in the years leading up to WWII, Budapest Noir creates a sense of time and place that I found satisfying and especially interesting since I will be teaching there for 5 weeks this winter. The main character, a crime journalist, is accessible and believable with a combination of aristocratic charm and toughness that is perfect for a Noir drama and the MC's lover/companion in crime and the MC's grandfather, are both characters that I would like to get to know better. Some might des ...more
Nancy Oakes
this is a short review; you'll find a longer one here.

The year is 1936. Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös, who had once boasted to Hermann Göring that he would "reshape Hungary within two years and would preside over the new state as its dictator" by applying Germany's fascist principles, has just died, and all of the local newspapers are out in force to cover the funeral. The reporter from the Evening, Zsigmond Gordon, is one of the reporters assigned to this task, but as the story opens, he is work
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Marie
Jul 11, 2012 Marie rated it it was ok
Budapest Noir is not exactly a 'bad book', it's just not that great a book. Most of it is an okay read if you're into the old crime novel genre, and I had a sort of bias as it was helping me brush up on my Hungarian pronunciations. But tensions in the book remain on a sort of stagnant level and the resolution is weak. As you can probably tell by my longer reviews, I usually have a lot to say on books and they usually provoke an overwhelming amount of thought, but this one didn't.

The only thing t
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Ryan James
Nov 04, 2012 Ryan James rated it liked it
This book was left behind in our other apartment by a guest who had read it and thought we may enjoy it. She said it was okay. Her daughter, who is a PhD student in American Literature had read it and said it was "interesting".

I started to read the book, became bored before page 25, and left it on the shelf. Then a former B and B guest wrote me out of the blue telling me there was this fabulous book that he had just finished and I had to read it. He also insisted it should be required reading fo
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Mr C Evans
Interesting period crime story

l selected this book because l live in Hungary and enjoy reading crime fiction. The plot is quite good and the story unfolds at a reasonable pace. However from my viewpoint there are not enough twists and red herrings to justify more than three stars. l think that more use could have been made of the interesting time period in which the book is set and this for me was the most disappointing aspect.
Zsofi
A very quick read, and a very enjoyable one too. Especially that I can follow the characters on my mind-map since I live in Budapest. Can't wait to move on with the other two volumes. It was also kind of informative about the 1930s in Hungary, of which I didn't know much. Although it was a typical one-night stand for me, I really needed such a break from my now ongoing long term commitment, a 1000-page stream of consciousness novel by Péter Nádas.
Alisha
Aug 09, 2015 Alisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This was well-written, compelling, and--for me--utterly delightful in its setting. It felt very setting-heavy, and I am not sure if all the talk about the specific streets and squares of Budapest was distracting for anyone else, but because I knew many of the streets, I spent a lot of the book going, "!!!!!!!!". Which was fun.

In the end, the story did not wow me as much as I had hoped, but otherwise it was a fun read.
Wendy
Budapest Noir is based in 1936. Hungary is a mess politically. The country is influenced by the Fascists and the Communists. It is a dark part of history,. There is a murder of Jewish girl and the protagonist sets off to solve who killed her and why a Jewish girl was in that bad part of town, He of course is discouraged....
The mentality of this book was not what I was expecting. I imagined Nazi and communist propaganda mixing into the thick of things, scared city residents worrying about their f
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Rachel
Mar 14, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A "whodunnit" detective drama that was investigated and solved by a newspaper 'crime beat' journalist. A new, yet very enjoyable twist. I initially chose this novel because it was set in the stunning city of Budapest. Detailed descriptions of the city were what I was looking for; and I did find it here. The story was set in the 1930's but had a very modern feel with very likable well thought out characters.
Michael Dittman
Jan 06, 2015 Michael Dittman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well plotted mystery

A tightly plotted classic detective story. In Gordon, Kind of draws a protagonist with verve and just enough mystery to make readers want to know more about him. Sure the girlfriend and the late in book exposition are strictly paint by numbers, but this is a fun, fast read that never leaves you wanting for more.
Linda
May 19, 2015 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only thing I liked about this book was that I know what a Puli and a Vizla look like.

The book is ovbiously a first attempt (it says so on the back cover) and perhaps the author ought to keep going but he resolved plot issues in ways I didn't understand. How could such and such have happened? Etc.
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Vilmos Kondor was born in 1954 in Hungary, he attended university in Szeged and completed his studies in Paris. He graduated in chemical engineering from Sorbonne, then returned to Hungary. Currently he teaches mathematics and physics at a high school. His first novel, Budapest Noir, originally was published in Hungary in 2008. His protagonist, the journalist Zsigmond Gordon appears in five novels ...more
More about Vilmos Kondor...

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