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Memento Park – tekijä: Mark Sarvas
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Memento Park (vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: Mark Sarvas

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
716289,819 (3.85)1
After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family. As his journey progresses, Matt's revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt's narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it. Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas's Memento Park--about family and identity, about art and history--a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
In an interview with Sarvas he describes his book in 280 characters or less as “A man tries to recover a looted painting that appears to have belonged to his family but in order to do so he must recover the lost story of his family, reconnect with his own neglected Judaism, and repair his broken relationship with his father.” This is a very apt, if concise, description of his enthralling novel. To be a little more elucidating, his main character, Matt Santos, becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. The painting at the center of his personal drama is Budapest Street Scene, by Ervin Kalman.. Sarvas’ novel is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself. It illuminates the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through this process.
  HandelmanLibraryTINR | Jul 13, 2018 |
"Memento Park" is a novel of identity and personal discovery that also explores the worlds of history, art and religion. These elements intersect in the story of Matt Santos, an American television and film actor of "B list" celebrity, of Hungarian Jewish heritage. In Mark Sarvas' telling, Santos narrates his journey to "Virgil", an unseen (by the readers) guide/companion who is an apparent reference to Dante's guide through his literary tour of Hell. In Matt Santos' case, his journey to the metaphorical netherworld involves: learning more about his father than he ever knew before; getting back in touch, both spiritually and literally, with Judaism and the heritage of his people; and visiting the scenes of his family's harrowing experience with the Holocaust in wartime Hungary.

The journey is precipitated by the unexpected news that Matt's family owns a painting called "Budapest Street Scene" that was the work of an Hungarian Jewish artist named Kalman who painted it in 1925 and sold it to Matt's grandfather. It apparently hung in the Szantos ("Santos" is the Americanized spelling) family apartment in Budapest for several years before the grandfather used it to obtain safe passage out of Hungary in 1944, after the Nazis occupied the country and began rounding up the Jews. For some unexplained reason, Matt's father does not want to claim the painting. This puzzles Matt, who knows his dad as something of a cheapskate. In following the story, we learn of his father's hobby/obsession, collecting, showing and selling toy cars. When Matt was a kid, he was not allowed to play with, let alone touch, the cars. They were not for him. This is one of the issues with his old man that he has to work out.

In the case of the painting, the legal work is done by a prestigious Los Angeles law firm and the attorney assigned to it happens to be an attractive and very intelliegent young Jewish woman named Rachel. She and her father, who is very religious, encourage Matt, gently, in his exploration of his Jewishness. This is complicated by his relationship with his shiksa girlfriend Tracy, a model who also does volunteer work on behalf of death row convicts. Tracy, the Protestant Barbie, has an affectionate relationship with Matt's gruff old Jewish father, which baffles him (Matt) but which he later comes to appreciate.

The title of the novel refers to an actual place outside Budapest where the Hungarians have collected all their old Stalinist statuary in a kind of pseudo-nostalgic theme park. Matt and Rachel visit it while they are in Hungary doing research to validate his claim to the painting. In the process, they learn that today's Hungary shares some of the darkness that troubled it when Matt's family had to flee in 1944. ( )
  ChuckNorton | Jun 30, 2018 |
A painting by Ervin Kalman, titled a Budapest Street scene looted by the Nazis, is the background of this novel. Matt, a young Jewish man who is out of touch with his faith, is contacted by a lawyer, telling him this painiting, traced back to his family, has been found. What he cannot understand is his father, who came to America from Hungary, doesn't want anything to do with this endeavor. A father who he has a estranged relationship with but do will usually jump all over anything thst pertains to big money. A father who has told him little of his own past.

Not a quickly paced novel, but one that has a great deal of meaning. Matt is an interesting character, not only the the contentious relationship with his father, but also because he realizes how much he doesn't know and understand. This is a thoughtful and meditative look of a man trying to discover his roots, find out why his father was the way he was and in search of the Jewish faith in which he was not raised. Eventually he will find himself in Hungary, gets in touch with the family he never knew he had but still live there. He will find out things that will change him and his life, personally snd relationship wise. While there he will visit Memento Park, an open air museum containing the statues of communists, saints and heroes. ( )
  Beamis12 | May 2, 2018 |
Matt Santos is a non-practicing Jew and a first generation American. His father, with whom he has a difficult relationship, immigrated from Hungary in the 1950s. Matt is both surprised and puzzled when he is contacted about a missing painting that has recently resurfaced after its disappearance during World War II. The painting may have been stolen from Matt's family, and he may be the rightful heir – but only because his father has refused to have anything to do with it. Matt's search for answers leads him to Hungary in the company of his lawyer, Rachel, a practicing Jew. What he learns there will cause him to reexamine all of the important relationships in his life – his relationship with his father, his relationship with his fiancee, and his relationship with God.

This short novel has a nice balance of well-rounded characters, a strong sense of place, and a well-paced mystery that keeps the reader engaged. However, I never could get the chronology to make sense, and it bothered me throughout the novel. Matt's father's age and Matt's own age only make sense if the novel is set at least a decade ago, but the descriptions of the technology Matt uses seem more contemporary than that. Even so, I very much enjoyed this novel and I hope the author has another one in progress.

This review is based on an electronic advanced readers copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley. ( )
  cbl_tn | Apr 29, 2018 |
Matt Santos, a non practicing Jew and minor character actor in LA engaged to a model, is contacted by the Australian consulate because he might be the rightful owner of a painting that may have been stolen from his family in Budapest during World War II. Inexplicably, his father, with whom he has never had a loving relationship, will not discuss the painting or the family’s rightful ownership. With the assistance of an attorney, the devout Rachel, Matt travels to Hungary to seek evidence of his ownership.

This is most of all a novel of discovery…discovery of art, heritage, and, perhaps, faith. Well written with a solid storyline and good character development, this is a book of great depth, yet a quick moving, compelling read. ( )
  vkmarco | Mar 18, 2018 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 6) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family. As his journey progresses, Matt's revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt's narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it. Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas's Memento Park--about family and identity, about art and history--a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?

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