“Love in Budapest” by Robert Babirad (published by TouchPointPress)

Exposure to rich history of Hungary results in first novel

Robert Babirad was inspired to write his debut novel, “Love in Budapest”, after his experiences during his first visit to Hungary to visit family and friends last summer, spending time in the capital and Lenti, in Zala county. It was the first time that his father, who is from Mosonmagyaróvár, by the Austrian border, had been back to Hungary since the communist era in the late 1970s.

“The Venice Train” by Georges Simenon (published by Penguin Books)

The ‘root of all evil’ fouls up another mind

People, places, plot – get the right balance between the three elements and your budding book is coming along. For Simenon it was the places that gave the atmosphere, usually in Paris or the French countryside, and the plot generally took care of itself ...

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“You Had To Be There! The Rolling Stone Live 1962-69” by Richard Houghton (published by Gottahavebooks)

Stories from those who there for those who wish they had been

Beat groups worked themselves into the ground in Britain in the early 1960s, crisscrossing the land in an exhausting series of concerts. The Rolling Stones, for instance, racking up more than 800 shows around Britain between 1963 and 1966, leaving riotous audiences in their ...

“The Way It Was. Road Trips USA” by Thomas Hoepker (published by Steidl)

Photographer got his kicks on Route 66 and all over America

Conventional wisdom advises against returning, decades later, to a place for which you hold happy memories – a birthplace, a childhood home or a honeymoon spot, perhaps. Things would have inevitably changed with time and those roseate memories could be shattered. In November 2020 ...

“A Cellarful of Noise” by Brian Epstein (published by Souvenir Press)

Inside Beatlemania but with a conspiracy of silence

Whether or not we actually need a “fifth Beatle” has never really been a consideration for those Fab Four “scholars” and over-enthusiastic fans who like to spend some of their valuable time applying themselves to this gripping conundrum.

Rock bands’ stories told in words of their fans

A Manchester, UK-based publisher is filling an engrossing niche in the field of rock music literature with a series of books that tell the story of top bands through the eyes and words of fans who went to their concerts. Editions so far have ...

“The People Opposite” by Georges Simenon (published by Penguin Books)

1984 in 1933 not 1949, and now again in 2022

Belgian author Georges Simenon (1903-89) lived in four countries and travelled worldwide but details of his visit to the USSR in the early 1930s are sketchy. What’s remembered more today is that the visit gave birth to this novel, considered a singular effort among ...

“A Bleeding Slaughterhouse: The Outrageous True Story of the Alexandra Hospital Massacres, Singapore, February 1942” by Stuart Lloyd (published by CatMatDog Storytelling)

No mercy as sick, injured patients slaughtered in bed

Military historian Stuart Lloyd recounts how, on February 14, 1942, rampaging Japanese troops in Singapore forced an Allied retreat around — and controversially even through – the Alexandra Hospital. The Japanese bayonetted patients in their beds and an anaesthetised man on the operating table. ...

“Resistance. The Underground War in Europe, 1939-45” by Halik Kochanski (published by allen lane)

Fighting the enemy from the forests and mountains

December 2022 – Soviet forces have occupied Ukraine. Tens of thousands of troops and civilians are dead. Resistance groups in the woods kill a few Soviet soldiers, blow up rail tracks and bring down power lines. In retaliation the Soviets shoot hostages and raze ...

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“The Venice Train” by Georges Simenon (published by Penguin Books)

The ‘root of all evil’ fouls up another mind

People, places, plot – get the right balance between the three elements and your budding book is coming along. For Simenon it was the places that gave the atmosphere, usually in Paris or the French countryside, and the plot generally took care of itself ...

“You Had To Be There! The Rolling Stone Live 1962-69” by Richard Houghton (published by Gottahavebooks)

Stories from those who there for those who wish they had been

Beat groups worked themselves into the ground in Britain in the early 1960s, crisscrossing the land in an exhausting series of concerts. The Rolling Stones, for instance, racking up more than 800 shows around Britain between 1963 and 1966, leaving riotous audiences in their ...

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“Greyhound” by C.S. Forester (published by Penguin Books)

Dogged by death in the deep

C.S. Forester died in 1966 and he is not forgotten in The Budapest Times office, where we have a nice little collection of 18 of his books. But they don’t include “Greyhound”, and in fact we were a bit puzzled when it was published ...

“Agatha Christie, First Lady of Crime” Edited by H.R.F. Keating (published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson)

One of life’s great mysteries

Here at The Budapest Times we like to consider ourselves as moderately well-read (albeit with plenty of glaring gaps in our literary adventures), and there came a time many years ago when we decided it was high time we should sample Agatha Christie, the ...

“For the Glory. The Life of Eric Liddell” by Duncan Hamilton (published by Black Swan)

God, gold and goodness

“Chariots of Fire” won the 1981 Academy Award for Best Picture, putting excitement into athletics as it told the story of two runners who won gold medals for Britain in the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Surprisingly, perhaps, this occupies only the first third of ...