The Third Bridge is the story of one long night. Meeting at a school reunion thirty years after graduation, the characters relive the bygone decades. The events – including a murder and a mysterious disappearance – are mediated through the subjective, emotional viewpoint of a former émigré to Canada, and the leaner, more rational angle of a detective returned from Germany, with the two stories at times contradicting each other. But the real hero of The Third Bridge is Peter Foghorn, the former golden boy of the class, a favourite with the girls, who was expected to achieve great things, and whose life and death is a matter of conjecture among the former classmates. As the story of Feri, the former émigré unfolds, we learn that after returning from Canada, burnt out and penniless, Feri spent some time together with Foghorn as members of a group of homeless people in the town of Szeged. Leaving moralizing aside, László Szilasi maps the rituals, survival strategies and desires of various castes of homeless people as accurately as possible. Though we never learn how exactly Foghorn ended up as a busker and leader of a homeless community under the pseudonym of ‘Robot,’ we can certainly identify most of the other characters of the novel who came of age in the 1980s as products of the chaos which ensued after the regime change and which caught people brought up in a Communist regime completely unawares. The mysterious figure of Foghorn represents failed promises, but also a certain kind of freedom – the unwillingness to take part in the nasty games of post-Socialist society.
Homelessness can happen to anyone
ISBN 978 963 14 3166 7
2014, hard cover with jacket
352 pages, 125 × 197 mm
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