November 29, 2008

Review: A long and hard day

The case workers by Gyorgy Konrad

Again an unpleasant story.

The end of the 1960’ in Hungary. This short novel is a document of the difference between the official ideology and the real life in Budapest.

The story is about a day of a case worker, a bureaucrat , who takes care of disadvantaged children. There is a young , a five years old boy, his parents have committed suicide, the boy is mentally retarded, there isn’t any free place in the state care, the neighbours hate the family, nobody wants to take care of the child.

How could the case workers help, what should he do?

He is also the narrator. He speaks about his jobs, the cases he had to take care. Even we can learn the family of the boy, their life before the main character enters their home. He describes the place, the typical people, and his thoughts he gets during this day.

Somehow it’s so very disappointed and bitter. On the other hand it’s quite resigned. Everything is unchangeable, let’s just try to survive this day, and the next ones. What a big difference to the phrases in the news, to reports in the TV and the newspapers those days!

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