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“A Central European classic to be discovered and relished.”—Eva Hoffman

“A stunning novel. Funny, nightmarish and jubilant.”—Libération

"Although it took almost 40 years for Metropole to be translated into English, the book holds up well. In the same way that Kafka becomes relevant again every time you renew your driver's license, Karinthy captures that enduring, horrifying and exhilarating state of being at the mercy of an unfamiliar land."—Jessa Crispin for NPR

“I don’t know when I’ve read a more perfect novel-a dynamically helpless hero (in the line of Kafka), and a gorgeous spiral of action, nothing spare, nothing wrong, inventive and without artifice.”—Michael Hoffman in TLS Books of the Year 2009

Budai finds himself in a strange city where he can’t understand a word anyone says. One claustrophobic day blurs into another as he desperately struggles to survive in this vastly overpopulated metropolis where there are as many languages as there are people.

Metropole is a suspenseful and haunting Hungarian classic, and a vision of hell unlike any previously imagined.

Ferenc Karinthy was born in Budapest in 1921. He was a translator and editor, as well as an award-winning novelist, playwright, and journalist.

Important places

Helsinki (75)


Uusimaa (86)


Finland (324)
Hungary (487)