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A few things worth noting about this fine book ... Fischer got more than 50 rejections before it was finally published and went on to be nominated for the Booker ... It's also his first novel (he's written three more since of uneven quality - my personal favorite is The Thought Gang) ... and it's certainly international in that it first appeared in the UK but it was written in English (not Hungarian) so it isn't quite "in translation" ... but it's a fine, fine book.

Happy Booker

Thanks, TEV. For translation look to the Guardian's fine and comprehensive "starter" list. And if those aren't enough, Merrill promises to drop by with a few more titles from time to time. THB


Thanks for the very warm welcome, Wendi! I should have mentioned that Fischer is actually British. Though I've always wondered how much of the story is lightly masked family history, since his parents (I think) were '56ers.

Does having things translated from the British count? Did you know that German books will say that such and such a title has been "translated from the American"? I dunno what they do about the Aussies and the Kiwis. Or Derek Walcott.


Under the Frog is a fun book but I prefer the Thought Gang, which shows Fischer at his best with some intellectual content as well as a good story. Recently I think he has gone off a bit. The stories are fun but not a patch on the Thought Gang.

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