Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy

Siege 13

Winner of the 2012 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Literary Award for English-Language FictionIn December of 1944, the Red Army entered Budapest to begin one of the bloodiest sieges of the Second World War. By February, the siege was over, but its effects were to be felt for decades afterward.Siege 13 is a collection of thirteen linked stories about this terrible time in history, both its historica...

Details Siege 13

TitleSiege 13
Release DateSep 15th, 2012
PublisherThomas Allen Publishers
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Cultural, Canada, Hungary

Reviews Siege 13

  • Jill
    Tamas Dobozy has this unsettling way of articulating exactly what I'm thinking -- usually some half-formed thought about my own personal hangups or idiosyncrasies -- and he does it way too well to be unintentional. Not that I think he's writing directly for me -- rather that I think he is tapping into a zeitgeist, specifically a Canadian one, that few authors hit quite so subtly, quite so bravely.After all, these stories are about sieges.Physical...
  • Steven Langdon
    "Siege 13" has been awarded the 2012 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in Canada, underlining just how excellent this book of short stories is. Built around one of the many horrific events of World War Two -- the longterm blockade and starvation of Budapest as the Soviet Army drove westward -- this is not just a book about the viciousness of war, it is also a probing of how one harrowing experience can shape a country and its people throughout ...
  • Teresa
    The short story craft at its best. These interconnected stories explore the horrors of the fall of Budapest to the Red Army during WWII and the impacts of the resulting Hungarian diaspora on subsequent generations, a topic I am embarrassed to say I knew little about until this book. Dobozy presents this dark subject with great beauty through multiple character perspectives on the impossible choices humans must make in war times and the stories th...
  • Abby
    This has a lot of emotional weight all the stories were very textbook short story, in that they created a tiny, encapsulated emotional world and many of them ended in an epiphany. But and there's always a but with me I felt that first, there was too much similarity of theme and second, and more important, that there was a certain lack of compassion for his characters. He creates sad people people who know they're sad; people who don't and fin...
  • Sheila
    An amazing collection of dysfunctional weirdness. What recurs throughout these harrowing stories are the ways in which people everywhere are subjected to terrible actions and, if they survive, struggle to find a way to forget, remember, and/or integrate the things they've experienced, seen done to others, or done themselves. How they've been forced to make decisions none of us should have to make.It's a brutally honest collection about the ways w...
  • Claire
    Siege 13, by Tamas Dobozy, is a highly intelligent and carefully crafted collection of stories about the elusive nature of truth as it applies to human experience. The final paragraph of Days of Orphans and Strangers is about as close to a perfect ending as youll find in a story. This is a very fine collection. Siege 13, by Tamas Dobozy, is a highly intelligent and carefully crafted collection of stories about the elusive nature of truth as it ...
  • Thing Two
    This collection of thirteen stories revolve around the siege of Hungary at the end of WW2. Some deal with childhood recollections, some with dealing with the trauma in relatives, and some with the actual events as they were happening. It's not light topic, but the writing is excellent.
  • Skjam!
    During World War Two, Hungary was one of the Axis powers, with its own fascists led by the Arrow Cross Party. At first this seemed like a good idea, as Hungary gained back territories it had lost after the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But late in the war, it became obvious that they were on the losing side. The Hungarian government tried to broker a separate armistice with the Soviet Union, only to have their country occupied by the Ge...
  • Cole Whetstone
    Unity: Atrocities are atrocious because they take on lives of their own, and affect whole generations not just individuals. In this way, the Siege of Budapest and the following Soviet occupation affected the lives of every one of Dobozys character, and indeed, the lives of most Hungarians. The only meaning left to those who suffered was the meaning inherent in suffering itself. 3 Prompts:1. How did the Siege of Budapest affect 2nd generation Hun...
  • 1.1
    13 well-written stories woven through with the themes and fallout of the siege of Budapest, detailing the victims, opportunists, and villains. It's a brutal read at times, hilarious at others, and often veers into thoughtful and sorrowful modes. I loved all the stories, started catching the connections towards the end, and thought I'd definitely like to read this again sometime just to follow the allusions better.It's a fine collection of rich sh...
  • Eric Leeson
    Treading on the border between fantasy and reality some of these stories are hard to believe. The scars, both visible and buried beneath the skin are life long, the march of the Red Army after World War II left behind it an important legacy that is fading into oblivion as the victims have mainly kept silent of their experiences. A very good novel, reads like a collection of short stories that are interrelated.
  • Kate McDougall Sackler
    Beautiful writing that transports you into the story is the highlight of this collection of tales of the 1944 Budapest siege. Bogged down in the middle by a bit too much Rape, death, and the downtrodden, it picks up with an uplifting story by the end. These are stories about war, the fallout of war, and how war affects everything and everyone it touches, even through multiple generations. Points off for the weird cover art. Number reading challen...
  • Joebacca
    no dice. cannot read this
  • Steven Buechler
    Books that deal with identity always make for powerful literature. Dobozy's collection of short stories show how a group of people went from the conflict of Budapest at the end of the Second World War,the occupation by the Red Army, up to immigranting to a new land, and - in some cases - the problems faced by their offspring. A well-written and well thoughtout read. Page 66 - "The Restoration of the Villa"It was the end of December 1944, and that...
  • Angela
    This book is really well written but just to difficult (for me) to engage with it. All the stories are intertwined and centred around the awful awful siege of the city of Budapest. It's evident from this book that every Hungarian alive at that time in History must have been affected in a devastating way. Themes of survival, (and the accompanying survival guilt,) betrayal, revenge, cowardice, identity, despair, and a very dark humour are woven thr...
  • Ted Parkinson
    This book is very well written with the stories intertwined thematically (others have already summarized that it is about, so I won't bother). Some characters appear in more than one story. I knew nothing about the siege of Budapest prior to reading this book and now I understand its sheer brutality. I did not like all the stories. I think some are a bit too abstract and, for example, Sailor's Mouth has a nice idea but the story itself is weak. I...
  • Susan
    I was unable to read all 13 stories due to time constraints, plus I dont think Im cut out for short stories, though I was able to get the flavour of the book. It is very well written but I wanted the characters to be more fully fleshed out as they might have been in a full-length novel, and I found myself skimming for plot points instead. At that point I realized it was time to put the book down.However, the story that will stay with me forever w...
  • Lee Thompson
    A well-crafted, ambitious collection, easily among my favourite story collections read in the past five years (which is certainly due to the strong eastern European influence in Dobozy's fiction). Lots of intelligence at work here and just enough sense of play to keep me satisfied. Dobozy crafts his stories, considers every line and plot point carefully, so there may lack a touch of spontaneity (for those of us who love that) but it's all so well...
  • Carol
    I loved this haunting collection of short stories of the events of the Budapest Siege of 1944 and how it shaped the lives of this eclectic, damaged group of people. I was particularly moved by it as I read the collection during a stay in Budapest and while reading of their history in the absolutely chilling Terror Museum. This collection made me think hard about how I would react in those circumstances.I particularly enjoyed The Beautician, The A...
  • Serge
    This grouping of 13 short stories, thematically linked to one another, includes how WWII affected its generation and then their children, even in other countries. Dobozy traverses a wide range exceptionally well. There is the brilliant "The Restoration of the Villa Where Tibor Kalman Once Lived", and the surprisingly dark, dark humour of "The Selected Mug Shots of Famous Hungarian Assassins". As an ensemble, the stories portray the intergeneratio...
  • Rebecca Schwarz
    Although I didn't make it all the way through this collection, these are good stories and I'll definitely read more by this author. Just not right now. While I love reading about other experiences and cultures, this book reveals the problem with collections by single authors. After reading about half of it, I just can't maintain my interest in the Hungarian expatriate experience no matter how lovely each individual story might be. It's due back a...
  • Robert Campbell
    Siege 13, a collection of 13 short stories inspired by the ways the siege of Budapest by the Russians in December 1944 impacted the lives of the Hungarian people, won the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize in 2012. Part personal essay, part exploration of collective memory and identity maintenance, and part alternate world construction, these stories are above all else case studies of "the passing of trauma from one generation to the next" (p. 1...
  • Daniel Kukwa
    As a Polish Canadian, I know the power that comes from the memory of war & Soviet oppression...which is why much of this book spoke so well to a part of my psyche. However, there were occasional stories that didn't make me feel much of anything, other than appreciation. I put it down to a matter of personal taste, but I wish this collection had more stories like its closing tale, involving dreams of a mythical doomsday weapon. I want that one in ...
  • Doriana Bisegna
    One thing is for sure: Tamas Dobozy can write! These amazing short stories are brilliant! I have no idea how he was able to write of so many different characters with so many different scenarios. It opened my eyes to the plight of the Hungarians after WWII and how their lives were affected even when they decided to immigrate. Very powerful collection and a voice I plan to read more of in the future. Oh and he's Canadian...just thought I'd throw t...
  • Johanna
    A painful but powerful read. Painful because of the subject matter. I had little idea of the 19th Century history of Hungary despite knowing several Hungarians. Those that lived through the horror, like many of the generation of the time, have learned to suffer in silence. Powerful because of the mastery of the writing. This is a book I want to reread. And reread. Lyrical, creative, stunning.
  • Sooz
    I don't read a lot of short stories .... the stop and go rhythm just doesn't suit me. a friend recommended it to me, and because I loved the cover I decided to give it a try. I've read 5 or 6 of the stories and really liked a couple of them, which kind of makes it worse as I'm really get into it and .... puff ... it's done and I have to start all over again.
  • Dan Lalande
    13 stories dealing with the emotional aftermath of the 1944 siege of Budapest. With the dry, ugly surrealism of Kosinki, Dobozy recounts the strange, desperate adventures suffered by the calamity's survivors and doggedly insists that they are darkly comic Emperors with no clothes, their decades-deep scars fresh and visible.
  • Shilpa
    Tamas Dobozys characters are memorable. His writing is so colourful, amassed with literary nuances, and the vivid historical account and unparalleled stories continue to live in our minds long after the book takes a spot on some dusty bookshelf. Full review at: Tamas Dobozy’s characters are memorable. His writing is so colourful, amassed with literary nuances, and the vivid historical account and unpar...
  • Lucinda
    These are stories that all deal in some way with being haunted by the events of the Siege of Budapest at the end of WWII, and the Soviet occupation that followed. They are beautifully written with complexity and intelligence; i found myself thinking through elements of one story or another during my day. Warning though: they have a deep melancholy that seeps into your bones while reading.