Voyage to Kazohinia by Sandor Szathmari

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"Voyage to Kazohinia" is labored and repetitive, burdened with an excess of detail. A good editor could have improved it greatly.
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A page-turning dystopian classic that stands alongside Brave New World and Gulliver's Travels.

Voyage to Kazohinia is a tour de force of twentieth-century literature--and it is here published in English for the first time outside of Hungary. Sándor Szathmári's comical novel chronicles the travels of a modern Gulliver on the eve of World War II. A shipwrecked English ship's surgeon finds himself on an unknown island whose inhabitants, the Hins, live a technologically advanced existence without emotions, desires, arts, money, or politics. Soon unhappy amid this bleak perfection, Gulliver asks to be admitted to the closed settlement of the Behins, beings with souls and atavistic human traits. He has seen nothing yet. A massively entertaining mix of satire and science fiction, Voyage to Kazohinia has seen half a dozen editions in Hungary in the seventy years since its original publication and remains the country's most popular cult classic.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Sandor Szathmari

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Sándor Szathmári (1897-1974) was among the most extraordinary and elusive figures in twentieth-century Hungarian literature. The author of two published novels and several story collections in his native tongue, he is best known for Voyage to Kazohina-which, titled Kazohinia on most editions in Hungary, has been treasured by generations of readers. Szathmári spent much of his career as a mechanical engineer; this, together with his limited oeuvre, the biting satire of his magnum opus, and his political persuasions-which ranged from an early, ambivalent affiliation with communism to anticommunism as Hungary became a communist dictatorship-kept him ever on the margins of the officially sanctioned literary establishment. A central figure in Hungary's Esperanto movement for decades, Szathmári published his writings-including, most famously, Voyage to Kazohinia-in his own Esperanto-language editions, ensuring him a measure of international recognition and literary freedom during the communist era. The author lives in Died in 1974.
Published July 24, 2012 by New Europe Books. 368 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Allan Massie on Jul 17 2012

"Voyage to Kazohinia" is labored and repetitive, burdened with an excess of detail. A good editor could have improved it greatly.

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