Skip to Main Content (Press Enter) Toggle side nav

The Book of Fathers

Best Seller
The Book of Fathers by Miklos Vamos
Paperback $26.95
Oct 13, 2009 | ISBN 9781590513392

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (1) +
  • Oct 13, 2009 | ISBN 9781590513392

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Oct 13, 2009 | ISBN 9781590513569

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Product Details


“Graceful and alluring, a leisurely introduction to the last 300 years of Hungarian history and an often affecting depiction of the way individuals must appear and disappear, alive for a few years and then lost entirely, even to their own descendents…The Book of Fathers is a serious novel that, while sometimes agonizing or even shocking, is never somber. Inevitably, its theme is that life goes on, and that every son is no less interesting than every father, that each generation’s search for wisdom is different, but no less important or dramatic than the previous generation’s. Miklos Vamos’s literary skills are such that he can sustain the reader’s interest in each doomed generation (doomed by nature, if nothing else). His virtuoso portraits of his idiosyncratic characters are fully backed by his evocative portrayal of the world they live in and the history they live through. Note to Vamos’s publisher: More, please!”—Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review

“Vámos’s novel chronicles a Hungarian family from 1705 until the present, as its members pass down their recollections of joy and hardship in the carefully preserved manuscript of the title. The novel proceeds via discrete episodes, each focusing on the life and death of a male progenitor with the ability to see into the past and, often, into the future. Steadily, a portrait emerges of an artistic, emotional group of men with a tendency toward violent death…Vámos’s fatalistic narrative follows in the tradition of One Hundred Years of Solitude, but it stands as a unique and affecting illustration of the vicissitudes of Hungarian history.”—The New Yorker

“[The Book of Fathers] is a book worth spending time with.”—The Huffington Post

“In this sprawling chronicle of the Csillag family, celebrated Hungarian author Vámos depicts the lives of 12 generations of men, each a first-born son, and in the process offers a whimsical 400-year history of his native country… the book has many sublime moments, from meditations on the nature of time to a sly investigation of how words accumulate to form books.”—Publishers Weekly

“A bestseller in Hungary, this family chronicle focuses on firstborn sons across 12 generations…Widely read in his homeland but rarely translated into English, Vámos should win a new American audience with his beautifully crafted novel of connection and continuity.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A superb family saga that draws the reader effortlessly through nearly three centuries of turbulent history . . .it records the political upheavals of an entire nation. The characters are fascinating and Vámos’s writing is a magnificent, seamless blend of the general and the personal.”—The Times (UK)

“Vámos is capable of producing incredibly acute and economical observations of the most extreme human conditions.”—The National

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates from Miklos Vamos
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking SIGN UP, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top