Embers by Sándor Márai
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
In a castle at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, an old aristocrat waits to greet the friend he has not seen for forty-one years. In the course of this one night, from dinner until dawn, the two men will fight a duel of words and silences, of stories, of accusations and evasions, that will encompass their entire lives and that of a third person, missing from the candlelit dining hall—the now dead chatelaine of the castle. The last time the three of them sat together was in this room, after a stag hunt in the forest. The year was 1900. No game was shot that day, but the reverberations were cataclysmic. And the time of reckoning has finally arrived.
YAWN. This was a snoozer. I almost initiated the 50 page rule, but after abandoning my last literary work (which I should have swapped with this one), I decided I needed to persevere.
The last 100 pages are the main character’s dialogue. Seriously. 100 pages of one man talking. I found myself skipping vast passages -- I thought it would never end.
The only redeeming value in this book – it is exquisitely written – and there is an interesting love triangle that evolves over the last half of the book.
Ultimately, this was a highly intellectual and symbolic book, and I am neither.
Book source: Public library