Excerpt from Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Siege 13

Stories

by Tamas Dobozy

Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 300 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Most amazing were the pictures. My aunt had hinted at the transformation Görbe had undergone since the 1960s, but it was beyond what I'd expected. He'd been slight, almost pixyish, at the time of his arrival in New York, and what happened to him over the years was so extreme I could only think his metabolism had been damaged. There was no way you could get that fat in that short a time all by yourself. Part of the problem early on was that he hadn't figured out how to dress for it. He was still wearing the clothes of a skinny man—narrow pants and tucked-in shirts—through much of the 1970s and '80s. It wasn't until the '90s that he adopted the black suit and overcoat whose layers smoothed his folds and bumps of flab. It was why he took up the cigar as well—his features had sunk so far into the flesh of his face he needed something sticking out like that, a flag, to remind us he was still in there. And with the physical change came increasing accounts of bad behaviour—sarcasm, insults, fist fights. I was surprised so few articles commented on how a writer of such fantastical stories, of a world mapped out with such visionary innocence, did little more than satisfy his appetite for food, booze, tobacco and outrage. There was nothing beyond that, just the immensity of his cravings, as if Görbe had become the monster excluded from his books.

That, at least, seemed to be Zella's opinion. The one article I did find on her was a page six piece from the New York Post, a single paragraph mostly taken up with the names of celebrities who'd attended a recent "bash" for one of Görbe's books in 1975. They gave her three sentences: "It appears the booze was flowing pretty freely. Zella Görbe, the author's wife, was acting 'erratic,' according to one guest. Before being escorted home by a private nurse, she regaled the room with stories of her husband's weight, calling him a 'fat disgusting pig' one minute, then swooning over her 'little boy' the next." There was nothing else, and however much I scanned through the information I'd gathered, returning to paragraphs and statements, there was no more about Zella's "behaviour," nothing to suggest she was a drunk, certainly nothing about a "private nurse," though I did note a number of photographs where there was a third figure present—an older woman, dressed well but very straight, always in the background near Zella. Since none of the photographs listed her among the guests, either the newspapers didn't know her name or she wanted it kept out. She looked stern, a mother figure, and the pictures made me recall what my aunt had said about Görbe when he was twenty years old: still afraid of the dark, playing hide-and-seek, climbing into the attic as if it was the entrance to a palace.


During that last month I kept my research hidden from Görbe. I worried about how he'd react. But Görbe must have sensed something, because he paid more attention to me than before, coming over unannounced with presents for the kids, sitting by the kitchen table (as much of him as would fit, anyhow) complimenting Marcy's cooking and listening to her talk half-jokingly about how I couldn't enjoy New York because I was so wrapped up in making contacts here, so obsessed with publishing in the right places, so distraught at not getting on, that the kids had started jumping on my back while I sat at the computer just to get some attention. "Ah, ambition," Görbe muttered. "Toxic as poison."

He even showed up to two dismal readings arranged by my U.S. publisher.

"Well, that sucked," he said, afterwards. "It's interesting that the woman in the audience—or I guess I should just say 'the audience,' period—didn't even bother to buy a book. With all our eyes on her you think she'd have the decency."

Excerpted from Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy. Copyright © 2013 by Tamas Dobozy. Excerpted by permission of Milkweed Editions. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Budapest Offensive

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dark Flood Rises
    The Dark Flood Rises
    by Margaret Drabble
    Margaret Drabble, the award-winning novelist and literary critic who is approaching eighty and ...
  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -