The Notebook Trilogy

The Notebook Trilogy

4.4 (11,485 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Description

Claus and Lucas are twins. Their new life begins when they are left with their grandmother, the 'Witch', in a village in an occupied country. It's wartime. Their angelic looks are deceiving. They are implacable, dangerously ethical; what motivates them is a deeply embedded morality of absolute need.
The trilogy-The Notebook, The Proof and The Third Lie-follows their stories from the Second World War, through the years of communism and into a fractured Europe. In what could be seen as an allegory of post-war Europe, the twins become separated and are isolated in different countries. They yearn to be connected again, but perspectives shift, memories diverge, identity becomes unstable...
Written in Kristof 's spare, direct style, The Notebook Trilogy is an exploration of the aftereffects of trauma, particularly on children, and of the nature of storytelling. In the tradition of J.M. Coetzee or Herta Muller, these novels explore truth and lies, shaped by a breathtaking artistic vision that is shocking, fascinating and utterly memorable.

Praise for The Notebook Trilogy-
'An almost lyrical intensity...A fierce and disturbing novel.' New York Times
'A haunting, harrowing tale that lingers in the imagination long after you've turned the last page.' Washington Post
'I found it profoundly disturbing, incredibly well-written, and extraordinarily brave. And the fact that it was written by a woman-it has a startling brutality and ferocity about the style that I find very inspiring.' Eimear McBride, The Believer
'At the heart of this acrid trilogy, in all its studied understatement and lack of portentousness, we can feel the author's slow-burning rage at the wholesale erasure of certainty and continuity in the world of her childhood and adolescence. At the same time we sense Kristof saturninely enjoying this annihilation for its imaginative potential. She will reassemble a shattered world on her own rigorous terms, and watch us wince and shudder in the process.' Times Literary Supplement
'In prose stripped to a bare yet powerful structure, this intense parable reveals the triumph of literature in a politically repressive state.' Booklist
'The Notebook is a transfixing house of horrors.' New Statesman
'A dark study of the human psyche.' New York Times Book Review
'Closing this chillingly unsentimental novel, I felt that it had contrived to say absolutely everything about the Second World War and its aftermath in Central Europe.' Sunday Times
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 153 x 233 x 33mm | 570g
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 1925240894
  • 9781925240894
  • 228,046

Review quote

'With sharp phrases that seem to have been used for the first time...[this work reminds] us that the truth of the books lives entirely in their pages, outside of them there are only speculations, vain complaints and self-complacency.' * Andres Felipe Solano * 'So brilliant and brutal, and each subsequent book makes you go a bit crazy as you try to nut out how the new perspective fits with, or transforms, what you've already read about the events.' * Lifted Brow, Favourite Books of 2017 * 'An extraordinarily powerful work: taut, disciplined, laconic and profoundly unsettling...In The Notebook Trilogy Kristof achieved notable originality. The novel resembles almost nothing, at least in the kind of fiction familiar to English-language readers.' * Age * 'Wildly original in content and tone...The style is simple, almost a series of pronouncements, and the content is uncomfortable and unforgettable.' * Adelaide Advertiser * 'These novellas are written with great restraint and horrors are noted in understated prose without dwelling on gruesome details. Kristof's trilogy suggests the supposed rage that people must feel when the authorised narrative doesn't mesh with the lived reality.' * ANZ LitLovers * 'A powerful reminder of the continuing consequences of war and the accommodations every human being makes to survive it, especially within their own psychology.' * Stuff NZ * 'Closing this chillingly unsentimental novel, I felt that it had contrived to say absolutely everything about the Second World War and its aftermath in Central Europe.' * Sunday Times * 'A dark study of the human psyche.' * New York Times Book Review * 'The Notebook is a transfixing house of horrors.' * New Statesman * 'In prose stripped to a bare yet powerful structure, this intense parable reveals the triumph of literature in a politically repressive state.' * Booklist * 'At the heart of this acrid trilogy, in all its studied understatement and lack of portentousness, we can feel the author's slow-burning rage at the wholesale erasure of certainty and continuity in the world of her childhood and adolescence. At the same time we sense Kristof saturninely enjoying this annihilation for its imaginative potential. She will reassemble a shattered world on her own rigorous terms, and watch us wince and shudder in the process.' * Times Literary Supplement * 'I found it profoundly disturbing, incredibly well-written, and extraordinarily brave. And the fact that it was written by a woman-it has a startling brutality and ferocity about the style that I find very inspiring.' * Eimear McBride, The Believer * 'A haunting, harrowing tale that lingers in the imagination long after you've turned the last page.' * Washington Post * 'An almost lyrical intensity...A fierce and disturbing novel.' * New York Times *
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About Kristof Agota

Agota Kristof, born in Csikvand, Hungary, in 1935, became an exile in French-speaking Switzerland in 1956. Working in a factory, she slowly learned French, the language of her adopted country. Her first novel The Notebook (1986), gained international recognition and was translated into more than thirty languages. It was followed by the sequels in the trilogy, The Proof (1988), and The Third Lie (1991). In 2004 Kristof published a memoir, The Illiterate, about her childhood, her escape from Hungary in 1956, her learning a new language as a refugee, and writing in this new 'alien' language, French. She also wrote plays and further novels. She died in 2011.




Alan Sheridan, translator of The Notebook, has translated over fifty books, including works by Sartre, Lacan, Foucault and Robbe-Grillet.



David Watson is the translator of The Proof.


Marc Romano is the translator of The Third Lie.
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Rating details

11,485 ratings
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 57% (6,523)
4 31% (3,585)
3 9% (977)
2 3% (302)
1 1% (98)
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