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The Case Worker

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  105 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The daily routine of a man in charge of children at a state welfare organizat and the demands that are made upon him are depicted in this novel set in present day Hungary.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 7th 1987 by Penguin Books (first published 1969)
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The Invisible Bridge by Julie OrringerEmbers by Sándor MáraiThe Skin of Water by G.S.  JohnstonThe City of Earthly Desire by Francis BergerCsardas by Diane Pearson
Books Set in Hungary
44th out of 65 books — 34 voters
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20th Century Hungarian Literature
69th out of 117 books — 91 voters

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A great, and I thought, neglected book. I don't know about modern day Hungary though. Pretty sure I read in the seventies and no later than the early 80's. Is that still modern day. I guess from a historical basis it was like yesterday. At the time I read it, I had a job that made it easy to relate to it.
I recently heard of a man who, as a very deliberate exercise in recognizing the oneness of all beings, sat in the office of a lockdown mental institution, or perhaps it was a prison, and read every patient’s file, “owning” every atrocious act and the underlying pain-motivations committed by the “untouchables, the maladjusted, the waste products” (101) segregated by society—in essence, healing that part of himself reflected by these people. The story goes that within three months every patient/pr ...more
Michael Greening
Oppressive, claustrophobic novel that will leave a strong impression on you...excellent.
Felix Purat
When I learned who George Konrad was through the Best European Fiction series, I nurtured expectations of his other work being pretty good. What I wasn't prepared for was discovering an unknown masterpiece! Not a title I use lightly, by any means, The Case Worker is an incredible work!

In a Communist Hungary that is seedy, wretched and populated with many whores, Konrads' character works at a bureau dealing with numerous cases. It primarily, though not fully, revolves around what he does with a
Marc L
To be honest: this was really difficult reading. But so rewarding! Konrad is writing about the human condition and it isn't a gorgeous picture, no, this novel is depicting a very dark, cold world, set in a modern city (but Budapest is only a nameless role model), through the eyes of a social worker (comrad T.) that handles cases of childabuse, abandonned children and other horrible, insane situations in which children are involved. This world is cruel, inhumane and senseless, but our social work ...more
The world of Konrad's case worker smells like old tobacco, rotting vegetables and people, and an old leather sofa from "imperial" times that seems wildly out of place (and seems to know it).

This story follows a government child welfare bureaucrat in the damp, dirty, hopeless 1960s Budapest who has a brief excursion into the world of his "clients": the mentally and physically undesirable. Konrad constructs a terrifyingly sad world that could only exist in real life, but that can really only be ta
Gijs Grob
In de eerste persoon geschreven roman over een ambtenaar sociale zaken en zijn kijk op zijn cliënten. Bevat mooie, schrijnende verhalen over de zelfkant van de samenleving, en bereikt grote hoogten wanneer de ik-figuur zich over het idiote, behaarde kind van de Bandula's ontfermt, maar de leesbaarheid wordt het hele boek lang ernstig belemmerd door ultralange, opsommende zinnen en schrikbarend lange alinea's. Uiteindelijk is het boek hierdoor meer vermoeiend dan bevredigend.
Tjibbe Wubbels
Never in my life has a book influenced my emotions like this. In the days I was reading this book I felt generally depressed and out of touch with the world around me. I even had to put it away for a precious.
Kobe Bryant
A heart-warming tale of a case worker and an orphan
lyell bark
this book is incredibly uncomfortable and depressing.
teh best book
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György (George) Konrád (born April 2, 1933) is a Hungarian novelist and essayist. Konrád was born in Berettyóújfalu, near Debrecen into an affluent Jewish family. He graduated in 1951 from the Madách Secondary School in Budapest, entered the Lenin Institute and eventually studied literature, sociology and psychology at Eötvös Loránd University. In 1956 he participated in the Hungarian Uprising aga ...more
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