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The City of Earthly Desire

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Set partially in Budapest, Hungary shortly after the collapse of communism, The City of Earthly Desire is a sweeping novel of love and lust, beauty and vulgarity, humor and pathos, and art and ethics. The story is peopled by a memorable cast of characters who are as intense, turbulent, and ambivalent as the place and time they occupy. Like the great novels of the 19th ...more
Paperback, 550 pages
Published June 24th 2013 by CreateSpace (first published September 24th 2012)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  14 reviews


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Korab Uka
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The thing I loved most about this book, besides the plot, are the characters in it. The story follows the two main characters, Reinhardt and Bela and the struggles they overcome. The City of Earthly Desire is a story of people becoming who they want to be, never forgetting who they are and where they come from. The story contains symbolism such as art, animals and communism propaganda to illustrate the Drixler's family self independence and knowledge of who they want to become and why they can ...more
Gregory
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A provocative tale that spans a generational history of the Drixler family and the various life choices they encounter. In the pursuit of love, creative expression and success our main character is lured toward a dream only to find a complex web of lies hidden by his own naivety and the greed of others. Between love and lust he finds a path of indulgence where true happiness is elusive.

As an artist myself I found the book highly engaging. It has left me contemplating the many messages woven
...more
Darcie
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The City of Earthly Desire is a novel that grips you from the start. I knew as soon as I read the first sentence, I was hooked. One can not help but to feel a parental love and concern for the main character of Bela. You want to hug him and slap some sense into him all at the same moment. It is not just the characters that draw you into the novel, but also the story line. The twists and turns are not a disappointment. Ultimately, what left the greatest impression on me, was learning about a ...more
Roan
Nov 03, 2012 marked it as to-read
I just won an ARC of this on Goodreads giveaway!!! wuhoo!

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Looking forward for this!
Anita Rozinka
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's an amazing book, read half of it in one afternoon couldn't put it down, waiting for the next one:)))
Yvonne
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story!

This is a long book but it has a lot of really great characters and a very interesting storyline. Great job!
Annette
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The City of Earthly Desire
by Francis Berger

Political oppression, intense characters, family struggles, love, moral depravity, and a captivating narrative fill this historical novel. Berger gives us enough material to make a mini-series. We follow the Drixler family, specifically the son, Reinhardt, who we follow from birth to old age then his son, Bella, who we follow from birth to adulthood. We are also given time with Reinhardt's mother to see the stock from which this family came.
We begin
...more
Richard Barnes
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I generally avoid self-published books, but I noticed this one being promoted for free on Amazon a while back. I downloaded it, then forgot about it, then remembered it, then nearly deleted it when I realized it was over 500 pages long. In the end, I gave it try. I'm glad I did.

In the end, all I can say is this - there are good novels and there are great novels. Even though the novel had some flaws, I would be tempted to place it in the great category. What made it a great read for me was the
...more
Donna
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read a lot of historical fiction set in England I was really excited to read about a different country and culture – I wasn't disappointed. The book has a great story line moving through different generations of the same family with inter-woven plots. I also learned a lot about Hungary, a country I previously had no real knowledge about. This is a relatively long novel at 540 pages and can be quite intense at times – probably not one for the beach, but it is a great read and by the time ...more
Susan
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished
Francis pens "The City of Earthly Desire" in a original plot filled with historical content, love, lust and a bit of humor. His characters were strong and well developed making this book a page turner. Highly recommended for all readers.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for an honest review.
Tamas Beres
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Must Read ! Great storytelling !
Vikas Datta
An engaging and thoughtful read..
Mike
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought Berger told an interesting story. I liked the insight into Post-Communist Hungary. I found the protagonist to be likable. On the other hand I found many of the characters annoying, the main ethical/aesthetic question, "Where is the divide between figurative fine art and pornography? to be unanswered and despite the almost 600 pages in length he left us with undeveloped characters and shallow motivation. I finished it, but there were times when I came close to putting it down.
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Francis Berger was born in New York City in 1971. He has published some short stories, most notably in The Toronto Star. His first novel, The City of Earthly Desire, was released in 2012. He currently resides in a small village near Sopron, Hungary.