The Rebels by Sándor Mára (Translated by George Szirtes) - review by Caroline Moorehead

Caroline Moorehead

Darkness Falls

The Rebels


Picador 278pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Sándor Márai's third novel to appear in English is a tale of four young men, neither quite boys nor yet adults, fearful of what is to come, clinging to the last vestiges of childhood. Written well before Embers and Casanova in Bolzano, The Rebels explores, as they did, the ways in which people imagine their futures in the light of their own perceptions of the past. It is a novel about friendship and about memory, what is remembered and how memory focuses on seemingly irrelevant things. All three novels contain images of candles, flickering and slowly going out.

Until the mid 1990s, few people in the English-speaking world had heard of Sándor Márai, a prolific writer, poet and journalist born in Kassa in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1900 and who rose to fame as one of Hungary's leading novelists in the 1930s and 1940s. Of his early years,

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