This was a hard one to give a rating to Faludy deserves five stars for simply keeping sane during his three hungry, back breaking years in a Communist era labor camp Reading the first part of the book was like a modern Hungarian history lesson combined with heavy doses of Western philosophy and intellectualism This poet, translator, and writer makes any reader regret not paying attention in Philosophy 101 If Americans were at all exposed to philosophy and politics as much as Hungarians, an This was a hard one to give a rating to Faludy deserves five stars for simply keeping sane during his three hungry, back breaking years in a Communist era labor camp Reading the first part of the book was like a modern Hungarian history lesson combined with heavy doses of Western philosophy and intellectualism This poet, translator, and writer makes any reader regret not paying attention in Philosophy 101 If Americans were at all exposed to philosophy and politics as much as Hungarians, and Europeans in general, for that matter, there would be a run on statue stores for busts of Socrates, Descartes and Plato Oh, and if you re an intellectual like Faludy, add Greek, Latin, French, German and at least two other languages to your repertoire to keep up with his language skills Faludy believes in his country and much to his dismay, he later finds out, his countrymen so much that he returns to Hungary post WWII in the midst of the Communist takeover It s not pretty He can t express himself freely, even to his girlfriend Friends betray him He tries, but in the end, has to give up a bit of himself and his ideals to the hypocritical, power seeking apparatchik He nearly starves to death Friends help him He survives When released from the labor camp, he had to sign a non disclosure agreement, swearing he would never talk about the camp to anyone He wrote this book about the camp My Happy Days in Hellis Gyorgy Faludy s grimly beautiful autobiography of his battle to survive tyranny and oppression Fleeing Hungary inas the German army approaches, acclaimed poet Faludy journeys to Paris, where he finds a lover but merely a cursory asylum When the French capitulate to the Nazis, Faludy travels to North Africa, then on to America, where he volunteers for military service Missing his homeland and determined to do the right thing, he returns only to be imprisoned, tortured, and slowly starved, eventually becoming one of only twenty one survivors of his camp Zseni lis, napok ta a hat sa alatt vagyok Az r val kapcsolatos meg t l sem vett egy 180 fokos fordulatot Gy ny r nyelvezet, egyetlen felesleges sz nem volt benne.V gig az j rt az eszemben, milyen sz vesen le ln k Faludyval egy italra, ha m g lehetne Conmocionada. Es un libro de memorias de un poeta h ngaro que vivi el auge de los totalitarismos en su pa s El primer tercio del libro, que se centra en la vida en Hungr a durante el ascenso del fascismo y la huida a Francia y Marruecos, me recuerda mucho a las autobiograf as de Zweig o M rai Luego, Faludy cuenta el regreso a Hungr a tras la guerra y la vida bajo el sistema estalinista para terminar con unas 200 p ginas sobre la vida en un campo de concentraci n La principal diferencia entre Faludy y otr Es un libro de memorias de un poeta h ngaro que vivi el auge de los totalitarismos en su pa s El primer tercio del libro, que se centra en la vida en Hungr a durante el ascenso del fascismo y la huida a Francia y Marruecos, me recuerda mucho a las autobiograf as de Zweig o M rai Luego, Faludy cuenta el regreso a Hungr a tras la guerra y la vida bajo el sistema estalinista para terminar con unas 200 p ginas sobre la vida en un campo de concentraci n La principal diferencia entre Faludy y otras referencias obvias de literatura de gulag es que su punto de vista tiende al optimismo, a una elegancia distante e incluso a la retranca Excelente I have to confess I had only bought as it was one of the ten books in Penguin s Central European Classics series and I have become a dreadful completeist and had been putting off reading on account of its small print, relative length and subject matter the memoirs of a Hungarian poet of the mid 20th Century doesn t particulary grab me or many others I would have thought but it s absolutely magnificent stuff, highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the regimes of communist post war Eur I have to confess I had only bought as it was one of the ten books in Penguin s Central European Classics series and I have become a dreadful completeist and had been putting off reading on account of its small print, relative length and subject matter the memoirs of a Hungarian poet of the mid 20th Century doesn t particulary grab me or many others I would have thought but it s absolutely magnificent stuff, highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the regimes of communist post war Europe The book begins in with the author s flight from Hungary ahead of it falling under Nazi rule to France, North Africa and the USA before returning home to a country under communist control after the war and it is this period that the bulk of the book covers.Some of the anecdotes regarding the detention and interrogation of alleged enemies of the state defy belief with their cruelty and stupidity An example is a vet arrested and tortured over the course of three weeks Then a Colonel in the secret police advised that unfortunately, there had been a case of mistaken identity and the real suspect was another man with the same name But in his condition they were unable to simply release him So he was sent to a forced labour camp.Moments like the above stand out and over the course of several consecutive pages a dozen or so similar stories are reeled out but what I think will stay with me is the author s dignity and resilience and humour through these years Within the World History profession there is a constant debate over whether or not Europe should be the focus of the field since Western teachers claim that it s the most influential region of the world, and that there are an inadequate number of accessible English language sources from other regions WRONG Central European scholarship such as Faludy s autobiography proves the second argument wrong In fact, he represents acomplex and larger view of the world than the works of Shakespe Within the World History profession there is a constant debate over whether or not Europe should be the focus of the field since Western teachers claim that it s the most influential region of the world, and that there are an inadequate number of accessible English language sources from other regions WRONG Central European scholarship such as Faludy s autobiography proves the second argument wrong In fact, he represents acomplex and larger view of the world than the works of Shakespeare or even the Epic of Gilgamesh Central Europe has a much longer shared history with Asia, North Africa, the Indian Sub continent, and the Middle East As to the first argument, what is meant by Europe should be the focus of the field, in practice means Western Europe A Hungarian poet such as Faludy knowsabout the historical evolution of Western Europe and the United States than many if not most of his Western peers especially within a global context Finally, what a life he had His autobiography is honest, sad in a very enjoyable manner, enlightening, and reads like a Game of Thrones novel Can t quite find the words to do justice to this amazing work Overwhelming in places, staggering in others, and never without genuine human drama, this is one for the ages Reminiscent of Primo Levi s If This is a Man , it exceeds any anodyne attempt at classification Ultimately, I can only resort to cliche a triumph of the human spirit. Faludy es pura vida.Recomiendo acompa ar el retorno de Faludy a Hungr a con el visionado de L aveu de Costa Gavras. It s a shame I don t like poetry much as the man I met in this book is someone I d love to know even better From the moment I read in the opening chapter that his grandfather advocated a united states of Europe I was hooked.Apparently there s some fiction in amongst this true story, I wonder if anyone knows which bits aren t true or were in some way exaggerated Because this is a story that demonstrates that life is truly stranger than fiction.The first half covers his escape from the nazis, fi It s a shame I don t like poetry much as the man I met in this book is someone I d love to know even better From the moment I read in the opening chapter that his grandfather advocated a united states of Europe I was hooked.Apparently there s some fiction in amongst this true story, I wonder if anyone knows which bits aren t true or were in some way exaggerated Because this is a story that demonstrates that life is truly stranger than fiction.The first half covers his escape from the nazis, first to France and then Morocco and feelslike an adventure than an account of someone running for his life The second half covers his experiences in Recsk the infamous Hungarian gulag The life he describes in the camp is horrifying Certainly no holiday But there s absolutely no pathos here, what you get is intelligence, erudition and courage in equal measure.Faludi was a remarkable man, a man unto himself His ideas were like dynamite, they sustained him, they sustained those who knew him and threatened all those who put ideology before humanity.Todaythan ever we need people like Faludy Gy rgy