Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Imagine arriving in a city or country and not having a grasp of the language (sound familiar?) Unable to communicate, muted by incomprehension, not even the signs are of any help, everything seems hopeless. Hold that thought!
Now imagine that this is not a holiday, rather, a business trip of sorts and you actually have a vast experience and understanding of languages, their many structures and history and development and yet none of that is of any value.
Welcome to the world of Budai, a linguist and translator, who on his way to a conference in Helsinki somehow finds himself in an unfamiliar land with a strange culture, customs and a seemingly incomprehensible language.
Metropole, originally written in the writer's native Hungarian, takes place in an extremely beautiful (if not a little chaotic) bustling city. We follow Budai as he tries to adjust to his new surroundings, whilst desperately trying to find his way home. A simple, yet intelligent man, Budai struggles with the concept of currency, inner city travel and attempts to form relationships simply for the purpose of survival. All the time battling the vast, overwhelming sense of isolation in this gigantic, monstrous Metropolis.
Finding his only comfort in a stranger, a women who works in the hotel he finds refuge, who herself seems equally as lost in the expanse of the world around her, Budai sets out to find any means of escape while questioning the effect his disappearance might have on his wife and kids back home.
An extraordinary inward glance at the human psyche, Metropole is a tale that draws you in and shackles you down, with ever building tension until the gripping conclusion. An exploration of what it means to live in a foreign land alongside foreign bodies. This book will leave you questioning your own moral integrity, the validity of identity and ‘the Self’ and finally, pondering how well you would perform in such desperate circumstances.
LISTEN to the podcast review HERE