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The Paul Street Boys

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  11,955 ratings  ·  454 reviews
The war between two groups of Hungarian boys living in Budapest. One with Hungarian national colours (red, white, green) is defending the square from redshirts (from Garibaldi's redshirts), who want to occupy the square.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published 1998 by Corvina (first published 1907)
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Tamás Benesóczky There are few books in the world where the writer can summon the child's soul and the world of children in such a realistic and credible way as it did…moreThere are few books in the world where the writer can summon the child's soul and the world of children in such a realistic and credible way as it did in Ferenc Molnár's novel Pál Street Boys. The work takes place around 1885. Honor and Loyalty are the most important values. "This is completely against the most important nowadays value, the Quick Benefit." "Nevertheless, we feel right at home in Molnar's world, (and I am happy about it). - The events follow logically from the character of the child's heroes, but without having to foresee it ... Molnar did not write a children's book, although it is about children and I would recommend it to them. - The world of children is the mapping of the not always understandable world of adults. - "Gitt Society" is a mockery of strange organizations, clubs, and habits of adults. It is so good that the term has become established in the Hungarian language as the name of utterly useless, superfluous organizations. - The novel is the Metaphore of Life - We fight for important, sacred affairs that can be brushed in a moment by the whim of fate and during we could die too...(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  11,955 ratings  ·  454 reviews


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Matt Ackerman
May 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the type of book that's for young adults (12-14 years old), but everybody should read it. It has wonderful moments of courage, selfless leadership, and friendship.
Jeannette Nikolova
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

I think that my age is above the target group of this book, but that surely did not stop me from enjoying it. To a certain degree. That is, knowing beforehand that it’s a children’s book, I was a bit shocked by the ending.

However, the style of the author as well as the setting and topic are lovely. The atmosphere is very consuming and the entire book can be finished in one reading, easily.

I was not aware of how old The Paul Street Boys actually is, an
...more
Onur
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story starts with the first excitements of children in the Pal street's land. Some other children make counter attack them and children implement the Boka's perfect battle plan. And of course, Nemecsek's braveness and heroism. It is good book.
Lily S.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hungarian-lit
Have you ever thought that every second you spend with a book is a waste of time and you will never ever get it back? That it's so harmful that it should not be read by children?

Honestly I have no idea why people give 5 or 4 stars for this. And I don't know why responsible adults let children read it.

For me this story symbolized how something with little or no real meaning gets so very important to people that it causes real damage, both physical and emotional. Oh yes I know,it's about a piece
...more
Uhtred
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my formation novels. Maybe the first book that made me cry. A children's book, of course, but not of those carefree books with a happy ending like the ones I had read until then. A story that touches, which leads us to fight alongside the protagonists, who are ready to give their lives for what they consider their most precious treasure. The plot takes place in Budapest, in the early 1900s; this setting already contains all the charm of an adventure, for a provincial boy: who knows where ...more
Yana
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I try to be frugal with my 5-star ratings, but this one definitely deserved them.

I remember reading this book at a friend's house a long time ago, perhaps 5-6 years ago. My friend and I both loved the book and I remember crying wholeheartedly at the ending, which was the only part I could fully recall when I set about rereading this gem of a novel a few days ago. I had been meaning to read it for quite some time, but I could never remember what the title was. By courtesy of my dear friend Uncle
...more
Maciek
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is this the best "youth" book ever ? I don't know, but if it ain't it ought to be.
Witold Banasik
Mar 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It is a must to read the book.
If it is not a real life described in the book you can always become a better human being after reading the wonderful novel by Molnar about the boys playing soldiers in the street of Hungarian city.
Heros are all around us, sometimes boys and girls in the streets, you do not have go to Iraq to be brave. Wisdom and courage of th emain hero of the book is heart-breaking and moving and very ...instructive for teenagers of the global virtual reality society.
I have loved
...more
Zuzanna
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not crying, you're crying
Roxana Chirilă
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Paul Street boys are a group of middle school kids who made an empty lot their playground. As they live in Budapest in the early 20th century, there aren't too many other places for them to go. But a rival group from the botanical garden wants to take over their lot, so they'd have a place to play ball (as the gardens don't allow them to do that).

The story, first published in 1907, does so many things right.

1. The Overt Story and Style

The boys might be involved in a 'war' that's childish by
...more
lucia ★
Feb 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody
Recommended to lucia ★ by: Teacher
My hungarian teacher told me to read this book. I really didn't want to. But I had to. So, reluctantly, I started reading it two days before the deadline. I wanted to hate it, but as I continued reading, to my surprise, I started getting attached to the characters. This book taught me to never say anything bad about a book before I've given it a proper chance. It's a lovely story about friendship and what it means to protect and fight for the things you love.
Gwynn_Sky
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is about the borderline between childhood and adulthood. Sooo bittersweet. I guess, not everyone liked it because of the end of it and how children/almost adults can be offensive and rude among each other. In my opinion it is some kind of little society story with some leftover kindness of a childhood.
Marina Dessotti Cortes
Beautiful book! It made me laugh and it made me cry. It looks like a book for children or young teenagers but it is not. In my opinion brings many thoughts that only an adult can understand. I had an amazing time reading it. Its literary strength is epic!
Gordan Karlic
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it years ago, when I was a little kid, wanted to see is it as good as I remembered it, conclusion, it is, although it is different.
You don't really look through kids eyes so you cant connect as much as you did.
Zmora
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love it but reading it always gets me in a melancholic state for the rest of the day
Ferenc Csizovszky
An outstanding book for teens about heroic strains, patriotism, life and death.

It is really well-written, exciting, and cheerful until the very end, where the story takes a really depressing turn.

I would recommend it to anyone, who knows what an empty little plot of land means to a bunch of kids, who need a place to play in the city.

8/10
Attila Benő
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A compulsory read in elementary school, yet full of violence, hatred and even death. As an adult, I look at this book differently than when I had to read it as a child. Reading it now, I would say it's an okay book. reading it back then, I didn't understand why we had to read it. I still don't understand why children have to read it. It's not for children.
Ceren Palaz
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I remember crying while I was reading this book as a child.
Nilgün
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I cry at tne end. So sad! I think it is too sad for a child, but the point that its teching is have an reponsebility for every think what we do,say,take...
Katie Varga
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fist compulsory reading book I actually enjoyed.
Alex
THE TRAUMA OF THIS BOOK. DON'T TOUCH ME
Aimee Cheree
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fucking phenomenal!!!!!!!!! 👏🏻🙌🏻🙏🏻
Catalina Badiu
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought I could read something light to cheer me up. Little did I know...
Marina
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like that book a lot but the end is really sad :(
Mert Vurgun
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice flow of a story. Loved it.
Jazmin
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite books by far. Ive read it when i was little for school and it had a huge impact on me as a child. I think that this is one of those books that everyone should read. Even though its about 12-13 year olds it is enjoyable for any age.
Og Maciel
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book single handedly shaped a lot of what happened in my early childhood. Just as the Paul Street Boys formed their "army" to defend their grund, I too, influenced by the book, formed my own club together with a bunch of schoolmates to "fight" against an "opposing army". I was barely 10-years-old when I read this book and the story stayed with me for much of my childhood and onto my teenager years as well. It has been about 30 years since then and it was such a great surprise when I was abl ...more
I. Merey
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My mom had been harassing me for years to read 'A Pal Utcai Fiuk' (The Paul Street Boys).

'You haven't read it yet??'
'It's a classic!'
'Are you going to read it or not?'

I finally sat down and finished it in two or so sittings. Just, what a lovely book.

Without pretention or guile--the story of a band of boys who must defend their patch of empty lot against another neighbohood's boy gang who needs the lot for their football practice (nothing personal, you see.)

It's not personal, yet the fight for th
...more
Alice
Nov 03, 2011 rated it liked it
I was reading this book in class so it took a lot of time to finish and that really wasn't nice. When I started connecting to the story.. done, the class was over. Because of that I didn't really enjoy the book, but I think it was really well written and beautiful. It has an incredible story line and I loved the characters. Nemescek and Boka were my favorites. They really were the heros you expect to find in every novel: loyal, intelligent, courageous... I don't know, I just loved them. I'm not ...more
Marcello La
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful.
Don't you remember how hard life is when you are a young boy? Then again, once used to be much harder.
It's impressive to see differences between 19-th century youth and today's... I'd be curious to verify if back than boys were already so mature, so apparently concerned about respect and honour and life, or if it's just a novel version of that century.

But anyway, wonderfully written, never boring.

*** Possible spoiler below ***

I wonder if it might have been better without the last cha
...more
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Childhood favorite? 3 32 Mar 12, 2019 10:13PM  

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Ferenc Molnár (Americanized name: Franz Molnar) was a Hungarian dramatist and novelist. During the World War II he emigrated to the United States to escape the Nazi persecution of Hungarian Jews.

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“Was it good?
Nemecsek fixed his blue eyes on Gereb and replied:
Yes, and quietly added: Much better than to be standing on the bank, laughing at me. I'd rather stay in the water neck-deep until New Year than be hand-in-hand with my friends' enemies. I don't mind having dipped in the water. The other day I fell in there by myself. I saw you then, too, with these strangers on the island. But you fellows can invite me as long as you like, you can flatter me and shower me with presents - yet I won't have a thing to do with you. And if you give me another ducking, if you throw me in the water a hundred times, or even a thousand times, I'll come here tomorrow and the day after just the same. I'll find a hiding place where you won't get me. I'm not afraid of anyone of you. And if you'll come to Paul Street, to take our ground away, we'll be on the spot! And don't you forget that either! I'll show you that with ten of us against your ten, you'll hear a different sort of talk from what I'm giving you now. It was easy enough to get the better of me! The one that's stronger always wins! The Pasztor boys stole my marbles in the Museum Garden because they were stronger. Now I got a ducking because you are stronger! Easy enough when ten are against one! But I don't care! You can even beat me up, if it'll do you good. I could have saved myself from the ducking, but I wouldn't join you. I'd rather be drowned or have my brains knocked out than be a traitor...like....somebody standing over...there....”
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“...Basit çocuk ruhunda derinden derine bir şeyler değişiyordu: Hayata dair, hani içinde hepimizin bazen kederli, bazen neşeli köleler olduğumuz hayata dair, bazı gerçekleri kavramaya başladığını hissediyordu.” 2 likes
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