totth_b_holtverseny_b1_2018_okOn a deserted bypass somewhere in the Hungarian countryside a sports car full of teenagers races through the pitch black night. A threatening enough start for a novel, yet even so, what follows is unexpected. Neither the readers nor the characters can expect the kid-glove treatment from Benedek Totth in this, his first novel. Elements of the teenage novel, the detective story, the psychological thriller, and the Bildungsroman mingle in this strange text, which is oppressive (yet at times humorous), and cruel (though not for the sake of it). If anyone recognizes today’s Hungary, with its more or less abandoned teenagers, loitering mostly unhappily, sometimes sad but more usually angry — then they’ve got the picture. Yet this is less a social critique than a highly personal confrontation with the teenager we all once were, or might have been, in this dismal place (no country for old men), where even wild boars are not what they seem.

Trainspotting in the swimming pool. A whack in the face that’ll leave you reeling from the shock.” (György Dragomán)

Winner of the Margó Award 2015 for Best First Book of Prose

Product details
ISBN 978 963 1429 06 0
2014, hard cover with jacket
248 pages, 125×197 mm
2990 HUF

Rights sold
English, Biblioasis, Canada
French, Actes Sud
Slovakian, Zeleny Kocúr
Romanian, Aramis
Macedonian, Pablisher

English excerpts and complete French text available


Benedek Totth