Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Last Window: Giraffe: A Picture Dictionary for the Over Fives” as Want to Read:
The Last Window: Giraffe: A Picture Dictionary for the Over Fives
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Last Window: Giraffe: A Picture Dictionary for the Over Fives

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  393 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The Last Window-Giraffe' is a playful and personal journey through the political unrest of the seventies and eighties. It was inspired by a Hungarian children's dictionary, entitled 'Window-Giraffe', which explained the whole world in simple terms; a world where everything was in order and all problems were easily solved. Popular across Europe for the best part of a decade ...more
Hardcover, 130 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Anthem Press (first published January 1st 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Last Window, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Last Window

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  393 ratings  ·  54 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Last Window: Giraffe: A Picture Dictionary for the Over Fives
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yayınevi kitabın "avangard-deneysel" türde olduğunu yazıyor. Sevmediğim, ısınamadığım bir türde yazılmış. Ancak zaman zaman deneyselliğine isyan etsem de okurken konsantrasyonum bozulsa da inanılmaz keyif alarak okudum. Yazar 1996-7 yıllarında yerel seçimlerde yapılan hilelere karşı başını öğrencilerin çektiği barışcı halk karşı duruşunu anlatıyor, kendisi de olayların içinde. Macar yazar gösterileri anlatırken, tarihe, çocukluğuna, ailesine geri dönüşler yapıyor. Balkanlar ve Orta Avrupa halkla ...more
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic read. The language is beautiful, a great translation, and it's great to look at, too, full of the author's own photographs. The interesting thing is: you can read it on many levels, and it's definitely worth re-reading it because each time you begin to see more and more connections and layers. Nothing is what it seems at first glance. And that is also what the author is trying to tell us, I guess. It has a powerful flow that takes you in.
Sometimes you don't know if you should
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Tossing us into the deep end of the feeling of the thing eliminates the need for explanation. Not a book for those who need things spelled out for them, but brilliant for those who want to understand through submersion the situation and the story
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A Macar abecesinin ilk harfi.Hırvat abecesinin ilk harfi A’dır.Sırp abecesinin ilk harfi de A’dır.Boşnak abecesi de A harfiyle başlar.
Demek ki A eşit değildir A’ya”
Öğrenim hayatımız alfabeyle başlar, harf harf ilerledikçe pek çok şey birikir aklımızda. Harfler önce hecelere,ardından kelimelere evrilir. Ve biz cümle kurmayı öğreniveririz. Ne düşünüyorsak, ne hissediyorsak harflerden kalkış yapar ve biz bunu yaparken farkına bile varmayız. Peter Zilahy farkına vardığı an bu sefer tersten bir yol
Sara Gal
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Levitin, Times Literary Supplement

In his rollicking novel The Last Window-Giraffe, Péter Zilahy has revisited the prouder chapters in the history of the Balkans. Blending history and reportage, linguistics and politics, family memoir and Balkan myth, Zilahy delivers a generational confession which suggest the fragmented destiny of a post-Soviet Europe. Zilahy’s jokes take the form of political one-liners – „Belgraders count riot cops instead of sheep to get off to sleep”; „If the US is a
Cassy Lane
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Zilahy wants his readers to work, but the work pays off. There are gems in his playful layered work of The Last Window-Girrafe. It paints the history of the Balkan, combined with accounts of the 1996 struggle for freedom in Belgrade, and is filled with vignettes of poetic prose. It's a tale about freedom and innocence. You can read and re-read it and be surprised to find new connections and hidden stories. You would laugh only to find that you should be weeping instead. ...more
Bunga Mawar
Once upon a time... saya masih SD saat rezim2 komunis Eropa Timur bertumbangan. Masa itu saya terkesan dengan lagu Bimbo, kalau ga salah judulnya "Surat untuk Mr Reagan dan Mr Chernenko". Bagi anak SD di Indonesia yang setiap 30 September ditakut-takuti rezim penguasa dengan memutarkan film pemberontakan komunis, entah kenapa, segala yang berbau Eropa Timur terasa begitu misterius... sekaligus romantis... Saat itulah saya mencantumkan dalam benak jurusan Hubungan Internasional sebagai tempat say ...more
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about the madness of everyday life under a dictatorship. It shifts in theme and time, testing the borderlines of prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction, history and autobiography – all in the unassuming guise of a child’s ABC. Filled with his own striking photographs, Péter Zilahy gives fascinating insight into whole other universe behind the Iron Curtain. ‘The Last Window-Giraffe’ is one of the most unusual, beguiling books you will ever read.

'In these bittersweet pages you will
Rio Johan
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting piece of work but clearly not an easy read. The story is heavily multilayered: chronicling a part of the country's fall of communism with variety of personal, historical, and even mythological or folk stories in between its present action; but once you got the pivotal point, it'll turn to be very easy to follow—at least for me. Sure, the form of this story (and how the author manage to made it all possible) was the front charm, but for me, the real treasure was the satirical h ...more
Orin Tia
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buku ini benar-benar membuat penasaran dan mengagumkan. Saya terkadang terheran-heran sendiri ketika membaca, membayangkan bagaimana si penulis bisa menghubungkan sejarah Balkan sebelum perang, di masa komunisme, dan ketika protes berlangsung di Belgrade di tahun 1996. Semua itu diselingi dengan prosa yang puitis. Banyak yang merasa buku ini sulit untuk dicerna, tapi menurut saya, memang itulah kunci dari buku ini. Buku ini menantang kita, dan hanya orang yang punya cukup rasa penasaran akan kem ...more
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Setuju dengan ulasan Tempo:
"Lompatan-lompatan cerita yang dituturkan secara alfabetis itu tak membuat novel ini menjadi tak utuh dan tampak kaku. Sebaliknya, Zilahy, yang meluncurkan novel itu sepuluh tahun silam—saat itu umurnya 28 tahun—justru terampil melenturkan cerita. Ia bahkan kerap membuat pembaca tersenyum atau tertawa terbahak-bahak." Tempo, 7 Nov 2008, "Kamus Perlawanan dari Hungaria"
Stefka Hrusanova

An interesting book about the recent past of the last century in Eastern Europe.
Cahyo Sukaryo
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first saw it, I thought it was just a children book with a very attractive cover and funny pictures in a bright yellow package. But then I glanced at its sub title, and for that instance, I felt that this book must be something! And that you'd better have it before it's gone from the book stores' shelves. No kidding! Published by my favorite publisher; Bentang Pustaka, it also featured a writer that came from Eastern Europe, something that happened as often as the blue moon.

The book turn
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The alphabet is the only reliable system of order in The Last Window-Giraffe. The rest is a tour of Shandyian digressions, with Zilahy's narrator time-travelling from one decade of political turmoil to the next. Deceptively innocent children's-book illustrations and the author's snapshots illustrate the journey. That feature, and the rambling narrative, bring to mind the writing of WG Sebald. His experimental memoir is at its most impressive when it plunges us straight into the masses of studen ...more
Max Rasa
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a delight. Thoroughly recommend it not only for the genius use of form and creative structure but also its poetic prose and rich substance on Central European history. Zilahy takes us on a time-traveling journey from the times of the Austro-Hungarian empire to Hungary's communist dictatorship to the popular protests in Belgrade in the 1990s and into his personal life of growing up and finding his own revolution. ...more
Mala Howard
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a read and turn the pages, I felt I found a gem of a book. It's completely groundbreaking and could not be categorised into one genre. It's historical non-fiction, it's part memoir, part literary novel. It's a dictionary novel, with rich illustration that holds meaning and adds another dimension to the book.
I learned a lot about the history of Central Europe and fascinated by how Zilahy brings this to the reader through layers of meaning. Read and re-read. Read it fast and flick through the
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Saya menyesal saya kurang pengetahuan soal politik Austro-Hungarian. Nampak sih usahanya buat menjelaskan sesederhana mungkin dengan sentuhan humor tapi gimana ya? Kalo kurang informasi-informasi dasar kayak diibaratkan masuk ke sirkel orang baru terus banyak inside jokes aq tida mengertyy :"( ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lerne zu schweben - Péter Zilahys Roman «Die letzte Fenstergiraffe» Von Paul Jandl War man Ungar und jung zur rechten Zeit, dann war die Welt in Ordnung. Von Ablak bis Zsiráf, von Fenster bis Giraffe führte ein Kinderlexikon der siebziger Jahre in die Tatsachen des Universums ein. Neben kindgerecht formulierten Grundweisheiten des real existierenden Sozialismus gab es offensichtlich genügend Platz für dunkle Aphorismen. «Wenn wir etwas loslassen, bleibt es nie von alleine stehen», heisst es da. ...more
Jun 28, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant. No genre and no words can actually give the right description to this book. It’s a non-fiction, fiction, autobiography, memos, proses, metaphors, history, short stories, pictures, dictionary, et cetera et cetera, this book has it all. Zilahy is no doubt a skilled writer, and it shows. He doesn’t care about what people will think about this book, he wrote what he had in mind and executed it sophisticatedly, and I love and admired every pages. Zilahy has wit and knowledge, and every sto ...more
Dec 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sastra-modern
THE LAST WINDOW GIRAFFE ~ Hari-hari Terakhir Sang Diktator
Penulis : Peter Zilahy
Penerjemah : Cahya Wiratama
Penyunting : Hermawan Aksan
Penerbit : PT. Bentang Pustaka
Cetakan : I, Oktober 2008
Tebal : viii + 188 Halaman

Hufff…. akhirnya berhasil juga aku menyelesaikan novel ini. Karya Peter Zilahy ( PZ ) ini benar-benar unik karena cara penyajiannya yang berbeda dengan novel-novel kebanyakan. Novel ini dituturkan secara runut berdasarkan abjad-abjad dalam kamus dan selanjutnya dikembangkan menjadi
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Книга так забавно называется, потому что автор приводит кусочки из венгерского "букваря", где первое слово "окно" и последнее "жираф", детская венгерская книжка так и называлась "окно-жираф". В аннотации написано, что Зилахи создал своеобразную энциклопедию Балкан, и это так, ни прибавить, ни убавить. Там есть экскурсы в венгерскую и сербо-хорватскую истории, биографии Тито и Милошевича.
Я лично плохо знаю балканскую историю и вечно путаю и страны, и персонажей. Поэтому мне любопытно было прочест
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dal 1998, anno della sua pubblicazione in un Ungheria, L’Ultima FinestraGiraffa è già stato tradotto in quattordici lingue e non ha più smesso di attirare l’attenzione di un pubblico internazionale. È diventato una trasmissione radiofonica, un cd-rom multimediale, il nome di un gruppo rock e da qualche anno anche uno spettacolo teatrale che continua a girare il mondo e viene rappresentato a Broadway e al Berliner Ensemble. Parte di questo successo, non c’è dubbio, è contenuto già nell’idea stess ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Swanborn - Volkskrant

Zilahy was achttien toen het communisme viel: 'Ik had mijn examens precies op het moment van de eerste vrije verkiezingen in Hongarije. Maar daarvoor was ik al gaan rondreizen. Ik wilde alle protesten meemaken. Want als je op een periode wilt terugkijken, moet je er bij zijn als die ten einde komt. Kom je een jaar later, dan is er niets meer, zelfs geen ruïne. Het enige wat je dan nog vindt zijn souvenirs.'

Ondanks deze hang naar het einde, begint Zilahy zijn boek gewoo
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Verena Gioia
Péter Esterházy uno dei più importanti scrittori ungheresi viventi definisce L' ultima FinestraGiraffa "come se questo libro fosse stato scritto da un giornalista con la fantasia di un poeta" . Un bel complimento diretto all'autore, suo compatriota, Péter Zilahy, scrittore e poeta, ma anche fotografo, artista multimediale, autore per teatro e per il cinema.

L' ultima FinestraGiraffa è stata una trasmissione radiofonica, un cd-rom multimediale, un gruppo rock e anche uno spettacolo t
Sara Gal
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Юрій Андрухович: “Петер Зілагі нагадує мені Жана Артюра Рембо. Це перше, що можна про нього сказати, друге – він угорець, третє – письменник, четверте – угорський письменник. Юрко Прохасько – на сьогодні його перекладач, бо він виявився єдиною людиною у Львові, яка знає угорську... Вітаю, користуючись нагодою, і видавця – Володимира Дмитерка, бо книга вийшла у видавництві “Класика”, яке він очолює. На превеликий жаль, не можу тут сьогодні привітати перекладачку цієї книги – Галю Петросаняк, яка ...more
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Олександр Бойченко

«Остання Вікножирафа» — це, перефразовуючи Тимофія Гавриліва, наслідок чудової зустрічі карнавалу з постмодерном. Причому Петер Зілагі, як уже натякалося, був приречений на цю зустріч від першого класу: будь-яка абетка демонструє постмодерний принцип співіснування складників, але Петерова мала ще й карнавальну назву. Залишалося підрости, опинитися у потрібному місці в потрібний час («Белградці радісно прощаються з минулим, тому я тут») і переконатися, що карнавал (а заразом і в
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiksi, sejarah
Tidak begitu menikmati. Entah penerjemahannya yang kurang begitu pas, atau memang gaya bahasa Peter Zilahy yang melompat-lompat kurang begitu nyaman bagi saya.

Buku ini menceritakan tentang pengalaman Peter Zilahy selama mengikuti demonstrasi mahasiswa di daerah pecahan Yugoslavia. Nah, ada juga yang menurut saya kurang pas. Diceritakan bahwa buku ini menggambarkan kehidupan di bawah kekuasaan negara yang otoriter (Peter lahir dan besar di Hungaria pada masa kekuasaan Partai Komunis) tetapi hampi
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Od abecede do žirafe. Posljednji prozor u svijet oslanja se na slikovni rječnik za djecu Abiak-Zsiraf (Prozor-Žirafa), u vrijeme komunizma vrlo popularan u Mađarskoj; sve je u toj knjizi bilo objašnjeno jednostavnim riječima, sve je imalo svoje mjesto i za sve je probleme uvijek postojalo rješenje. Zilahy se tom hibridu početnice, dječje enciklopedije i slikovnog rječnika iz svoga djetinjstva vraća mnogo godina kasnije, i tako shvaća na čemu se temeljio svijet u kojem je odrastao: istočnoeuropsk ...more
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A XX. század végén már-már azt gondoltuk, hogy az utazó-irodalomnak befellegzett, a kora-újkori és múltszázadi Balkán-járó brit kalandorok írásai elvesztették élvezeti értéküket, s korunkba a mûfaj szükségszerûen züllött Robert Kaplan-i mélységekbe. Azután megjelenik egy könyv, egy ablakzsiráf, és az ember ezredszerre is rájön, hogy ezúttal sem annyira a mûfajjal volt a baj, mint azokkal, akik gyakorolni próbálták. Zilahy Péter lírai asszociációi, a leírás személyes hitelessége, a szterotíp cini ...more
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Destinato a essere libro-cardine nell’educazione delle nuove generazioni europee, e manifesto anti-comunista, questo primo romanzo di Zilahy è un testo assolutamente imperdibile: onore ed ogni elogio alle edizioni Alet di Padova per aver regalato al pubblico italiano un frammento di storia, e di grande Letteratura. Senza spargere sale sulle rovine del passato, ma semplicemente raccontando e illustrando – con innocenza e intelligenza – la sua infanzia e la sua adolescenza, e la giovinezza e la nu ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Zazie in the Metro
  • Waiting for the Barbarians
  • Fifty Key Texts in Art History
  • Every Man Dies Alone
  • Bağışlamak: Bağışlanamaz Olan ve Zaman Aşımına Uğramayan
  • Introduction to the Structural Analysis of the Narrative
  • Midas'ın Müritleri (Babil Kitaplığı, #5)
  • Emmaus
  • Son Tiryaki
  • Tristessa
  • Why Look at Animals?
  • The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History
  • Yarat Ey Sanatçı: Şiirler, Roma Ağıtları, Akhilleus
  • I Saw Her That Night
  • Studies in Classic American Literature
  • The Sound and the Fury
  • Rue des Boutiques Obscures
  • Make Your Own Neural Network: An In-depth Visual Introduction For Beginners
See similar books…

Related Articles

In this latest installment of our semi-regular Themed Reading adventure series, we tackle the heaviest theme of all: Life and Death!   It’s not...
31 likes · 7 comments
“No one believes that the world can come to an end, therefore no one believes it can be saved.” 5 likes
“If the US is a human melting pot, then Eastern Europe is a scrap yard.” 4 likes
More quotes…