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On his way to a linguists' conference in Helsinki, 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. Fearing that his wife will have given him up for dead, he finds comfort in an unconventional relationship with the elevator-operator in the hotel. A suspenseful and haunting Hungarian classic, and a vision of hell unlike any other imagined. 'With time, Metropole will find its due place in the twentieth-century library, on the same shelf as The Trial and 1984.' G.O. Châteaureynaud '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.' NPR
- Saqi, May 2012
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