Doug Bradshaw's Reviews > Embers

Embers by Sándor Márai
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Jan 26, 2008

really liked it

The book is a short, intense, powerful psychological study of friendship, love and honor. There is really only the voice and viewpoint of one intelligent, somewhat spoiled, wealthy aristocrat who has wasted a lot of his life worrying about how his beautiful and cherished wife and best friend may have betrayed him over 40 years ago. At this moment in time 40 years earlier, his life basically crashes and he wonders for the rest of his life what has happened because he really doesn't know, he's just guessing.

I found the story itself to be a bit far fetched, but always interesting. The real meat of the book is the author's ability to describe little human emotions such as loneliness, fear, guts, subtleties of marrital interaction and love, integrity, with long descriptions of what friendship is about and how friendship works and what happens when there is betrayal. Throughout there is beautiful writing, metaphors and touching moments as we realize what has really happened to the three main characters and why their lives are profoundly changed.

Interestingly, another book could be written from the other perspective with a profoundly different outcome.

It's worth the read, very different than today's airport novels.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 26, 2008 – Shelved

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