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The Lost Pages

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A stunning novel of friendship, fraud and betrayal within a compelling literary rivalry.

It is 1908, and Max Brod is the rising star of Prague’s literary world. Everything he desires—fame, respect, love—is finally within his reach. But when a rival appears on the scene, Max discovers how quickly he can lose everything he has worked so hard to attain. He knows that the newco
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 26th 2017 by Allen & Unwin (first published 2017)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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 ·  203 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Marija Peričić has given us a novel about Kafka and his long time publisher Max Brod worthy of Kafka. It's nail biting, mysterious, annoying, and ultimately an amazing construction.

She doesn't fall for the weedy little caricature that is still perpetuated by Wikipedia and almost everyone else that for example Kafka was unknown and unpublished until after his death. His best know story, The Metamorphosis; featured strongly in this novel was published in 1915 and Kafka died in 1924. But after avo
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: c21st, australia, vogel
While I do enjoy the sense of belonging that comes with reading novels that feature Australian life, I like the direction the Vogel Prize seems to have taken over the last year or so. Last year we had The Memory Artist by Katherine Brabon (see my review) and this year ventures into the wider world too with the award going to Marija Peričić’s novel The Lost Pages. Set in 1908 in what is now the Czech Republic, it’s a brave reimagining of the relationship between Franz Kafka and his literary edito ...more
An alternate view of the relationship between Max Brod and Franz Kafta. Instead of the usual depiction of two buddies, Brod is depicted as being jealous and hateful of Kafta. Brod plots and schemes to destroy Kafka's career but instead seems to just keep opening doors for his nemesis. I enjoyed Brod's fuming that Gregor from "The Metamorphosis" was modelled on him - he suffered from a curvature of the spine.
It's an interesting take, well written and flows along. While it is tempting to try to co
Catherine Davison
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I see what you’ve done here Ms P, very Kafkaesk.
Very clever. No administration errors here;
Vogel Award well deserved.
Kathryn Berryman
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The year is 1908 in the city of Prague. You’ve written your first book. Everyone wants to be near you, touch you and hear what you, the learned writer has to say. Maybe you do have something worthwhile to impart, your literary opinion is in demand and many would-be authors vie for your attention. Your confidence grows as your fame increases, until a handsome, brilliant stranger befriends you, rivalling your talent and self-assurance. That’s when doubt begins to creep in.

Winner of The Australian/
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, can Marija Pericic write! From the very beginning, I was drawn to the vulnerability and fragility of her protagonist, the anguish of an artist who never feels good enough, who is eaten up by his own insecurities, and whose low self opinion is sorrowful enough that we forgive him the gravest of errors against others. I loved the twist in the story, certainly I didn't see it coming, which is rare! With original descriptions and a delicate, mature voice, I highly recommend this book, especiall ...more
Maha Abed
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Her style of writing is engaging and intriguing. I remained spellbound throughout, transported to her experience of Prague, engulfed in each scene with all of the characters involved.
Sam Still Reading
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of well written novels
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: on the shortlist for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction
I went into The Lost Pages knowing little about Franz Kafka and even less about Max Brod. All I knew was that this was an award winning novel and shortlisted for another (the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction). Then I opened it and was it had footnotes – swoon! Somehow my mind linked this to S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. The Lost Pages doesn’t have handwritten notes over the pages, but it has that sense of mystery and of a narrator on the edge.

The premise of the book is that a numbe
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With deceptively simple writing, Peričić unravels a complex, blurred tale of the relationship between Max Brod and Franz Kafka, entwining elements of Kafka's style as the plot heads towards its crescendo. A clever weaving of fact and fiction, I was left wishing for an Author's Note to disentangle the threads. Powerful and compelling, this is easy to read and hard to forget.
Michael Sanderson-green
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This new author creates her own myth of Kafka in an enthralling way that keeps the reader engaged till the enlightening yet sad end.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
As other reviewers have commented, this book is very well-written at a sentence level. The author demonstrates a wonderful skill with language, and I really like that she has experimented with form and has chosen an unconventional way to tell this story.
However for this reader, who knew nothing at all about Kafka before reading this book, I was at sea for a large part of the story. It says a great deal about Pericic's writing skills that I still read through to the end - I have too many books in
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thank you Allen & Unwin for the Goodreads copy of The Lost Pages.

A story formatted as a fictionalised journal of Max Brod. Interesting concept with an equally interesting ending. I wouldn't say it was gripping as throughout the book I was getting frustrated by the to-ing and fro-ing of Max's internal debate. But then again, this style is necessary to form a picture of a man unsure of himself and within the grips of mental illness.
Pam Tickner
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, I didn't know what to expect, and only know of Kafka by historical reference, but this insight into his work was unexpectedly unputdownable. Part non-fiction, part psychological thriller this is a richly crafted literary work. A brilliant first novel by Pericic. I look forward to her next book!
Michael Livingston
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
A meta-fictional reimagining of the Max Brod/Franz Kafka relationship that struggles under the weight of its own conceit before just about redeeming itself with an unexpected resolution. I got pretty impatient with this at times - it felt like it could have been a hugely satisfying novella, but it dragged a bit at full novel length. It's smart - well researched and cleverly constructed - but not as engaging as I was hoping (at least until the last 30 pages).
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Whilst I finished it my interest dropped in the second half.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well-written. This writer has such a superb command of language, and her metaphors are exceptional. Definitely great literature.

Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. Great writing and characters
Kerri Jones
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The writing in this book was really good and enjoyable and very well layered. I feel like you really get to the heart of Max Brod and his tortured relationship with Franz Kafka.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exquisitely written. Devoured every word. Can't wait to see what this author crafts for us next.
S.C. Karakaltsas
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Marija Pericic won the Vogel Prize for this stunning debut novel set in Prague in 1908. Pericic reimagines the relationship between literary giants, Max Brod and Franz Kafka.

Knowing little about either novelist, I was quickly drawn into the story full of anguish, tension and human fragility. The author has veered away from the known story that Brod was asked by his friend Kafka, on his death bed to destroy all of his unpublished work. Instead Brod publishes it making sure that posthumously, Kaf
Cyan Night
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is easy to read, short and sweet with a strong plot and plenty of hooks that kept me going. I finished the book within a day.

I am particularly impressed by Peričić's description of the thoughts and actions of a jealousy. It is brutally frank and must be relatable for anyone who has ever been envious of their peers. The obsessive thoughts of the protagonists are also powerful and convincing.

The concept of the book is courageous and imaginative but in some ways the bravery of the author
Julian Leatherdale
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
There is some excellent writing at sentence level in this playful, meta-fictional retelling of Franz Kafka's career through the eyes of an arch-rival, Max Brod, as well as evidence of passionate research into the milieu of Prague. The framing of the story as a partially restored archival document (with passages obscured and interpolations offered in footnotes) was clever and persuasive. The characterisation of Brod as an admired but anguished writer threatened with being eclipsed by a younger ce ...more
2 1/2 stars
Pericic has written a fanciful book about the relationship between two Czech writers, Max Brod and Franz Kafka. Max Brod who, despite his own published works, was more famous because of his friendship and biography of Franz Kafka. In The Lost Pages the author creates a possible account of the beginnings of their relationship from Brod’s point of view, through the papers and documents that she has been able to access.
Brod who is already famous is approached by the unpublished Kafka fo
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
It took me quite a while to get into this book, though it was easy reading. At the outset I struggled to see where the story was going and what its goal was, and found the format - styled as recovered pages of Brod's notes - grating and quite unnecessary. As it progressed, however, I found myself getting caught up in the increasingly pervasive sense of tension and anticipation. Though I predicted the ending, it was still an eventful and intriguing adventure and a very enjoyable read, one which h ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a read. It is an excellent fusion of that really clever kid's paper in your 3rd year English Lit class and M. Night Shyamalan. It does drag in the middle but it made up for in the end. I don't agree with the criticism about using real lives as literary devices. Kafka is already a mythic unknown so why not play with it. Like any reinterpretation it is good to know the source material, so knowin a little about these two at the outset would be nice. I really liked this book.
Amanda Tovell
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this book in a giveaway and would give it 3.5 stars if possible. A mostly enjoyable read. I had guessed the twist well before the end, but sometimes felt frustrated by the whiney internal dialogue of Brod. Having the page notes were also confusing, but can appreciate why the author thought they would help.
Novella Fine Books
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Insights: caught up in blue and the night of the soul
The relationship of a very elusive character a writer on Schopenhauer...paper flutter everywhere
Scene of party a longing for a beauty
A position taken an impersonator and superseded by a younger more creative spirit
Mirror and the body perfection as opposed to a twisted spine.

- reviewed by Jo
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked the idea of a Kafkaesque novel about Kafka himself and this didn't disappoint on that front. However it did take a long time to get moving and it would have been better to simply be an autobiography rather than using the conceit of pretending to be an autobiographical collection of papers with notes from the collator which were simply an annoying distraction from the main event.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The premise for this story is some long lost papers of Czech author Max Brod have been found and they reveal a great deal about his relationship with Franz Kafka and also about both men. It's quite complicated, particularly if you have no prior knowledge of Kafka and his works, however it's a terrific story of talent, competition, jealousy, fraud and betrayal.
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