Any Interest in a Read-Along of Captivity by György Spiró?


Behold this book, Captivity, winner of the Aegon Literary Award, translated from Hungarian, and coming in at a mere 864 pages, it is not for the “subway reader.”

In fact, that term was brought to my attention by Vishy on Facebook tonight, who highlighted this gorgeous article: Ten Giant Translated Novels That Make a Mockery of Subway Reading. Included in the list is Haruki Murakami’s 1984 (love!) and Roberto Bolano’s 2666 (not so much), but I am woefully unaware of Hungarian authors.

So I wondered, with all of Captivity‘s accolades, and they are not a few, if anyone else would be interested in picking it up with me. VishyFrances? Claire?  Dorian? Tom? Juliana? Anyone?

We could start in January, or whenever you like. Tell me what you think.

Participants (thus far):







27 thoughts on “Any Interest in a Read-Along of Captivity by György Spiró?”

  1. I don’t live in a place with a subway, so there is no point in my mocking subway reading.

    The 2005 date, the Roman setting, and other elements that are too distant from my current concerns mean that I will have to pass. But I wish great luck to anyone and everyone else.


    1. I should have realized that being written in 2005, this book isn’t for you. Oops, I just get hopeful for your input! But, I surely understand. Thanks for your good wishes.


  2. Oh, I hope this gets off the ground – love megafiction and the particulars of this look worth a lengthy investigation. Cheering it, from my place in the bleachers.


    1. Hello, Hilary, I’m not sure if that means you’ll be joining us (cheering from the bleachers turning into reading? 😉 but thank you for your comment and thoughts. It seems a fascinating book to me, especially the phrase I read about being all of Roman history. If it could contain that much within its 800-some pages.


  3. Ok…I don’t know what I am committing to, but I am in! The premises is tooooo good to pass up! I am in and I will happily read it with you come January, though I may take some time because, work gets crazy in the first three months of the year!


    1. One never knows what one has committed to before reading the book, but I’m so glad you’re in!! So far, there is Vishy, you and myself prepared to embark on this adventure. Let’s grab our copies and hold them ready for January.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve only read 1Q84 on the list of books you’ve posted, but have heard really lovely things about the Knausgaard books as well. What made you pick Captivity out of all of the books on this list? If you’ll have me, I’d love to read along with you in January. (I can’t believe we are already making plans for 2017!)


    1. Jessica, I’d love to have you join in! I chose Captivity because I love chunksters, I love translated literature, and I love reading about Italy. I also am impressed with all the praise it received. (Last but not least I already own a copy of this one!) I’m looking forward to beginning this one as s group.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You and Vishy have both suggested a read-along of A True Novel which appeals to me for several reasons: I am running the Japanese Literature Challenge 10 for which I’ve yet to read one book (!); this one sounds wonderful; and how fun is it to read with friends? I’ve ordered a copy, but I can’t say when I’ll begin. There are a few commitments for October and November, but maybe December. Do you want to read it then, and follow it up with Captivity in January?

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Okay, A True Novel
              in December and Captivity in January. Wow, I’m already eager to begin!

              (I don’t think I can get to Wuthering Heights as I have some prior commitments in October and November.)


    1. Hooray, TJ! I’m so impressed your library has a copy; I think our library only stocks the best sellers. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult to borrow and keep renewing. 😉


  5. I just want you to know I considered joining you, which is truly crazy, because I have not got the time, and what I do have is stacks of books I want to read more. But I will very much look forward to reading your review when you’re done. XO GJ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gretchen, I understand not having the time, and instead having a stack at the ready. And, I would have so loved reading with you! But, perhaps you will be interested in the novel, as am I, particularly because it’s set in Roman times right after the death of Christ. Even though it’s historical fiction, I am eager to know more of the culture then, hoping that I can put some of the New Testament in a bit of context. (Besides the Word in which I put all of my trust, as you know.)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for drawing my attention to this book. I borrowed it from the library yesterday. It’s a whopper of a book. I’m not usually into big book I confess. I am somewhat heartened by its good reviews/praise. I’ll let you know how I go.


    1. How fun that you saw this invitation, and even better that your library has a copy! I’ve been sent one by Restless Books, for review, and it has taken me this long to get to it. But, as you say, the praise seems rather limitless, and I’m really looking forward to venturing forth together. I shall put together a plan as we near January, suggesting which portion is read when, but of course any one can just go ahead and read it beginning now. As it seems you will do. Glad to have you give it a try!


  7. I have the book and am quite interested. I’m rubbish at keeping reading group promises, though. But January is pretty good for me. So I will try. Of the books on Scott Esposito’s list I too am most interested in a A True Novel. I wonder if I need to have Wuthering Heights fresh in my mind to read it, though. Probably been 15 years since I read it. And although it;s amazing I can’t see having time for it too. Too many books… Anyway, qualified yes. As Tom can tell you, though, I’m not so good with the big books.


    1. So glad to have piqued your interest, and of course you are not beholden to anyone. If it works for you, great, if not? This teacher/reader surely understands.

      Vishy, Jessica and I will read A True Love in December, and Captivity in January. God willing. 🙂 Hope you can join us for any of it. xo


  8. Love, love, love your post, Bellezza! Thanks so much for hosting these two readalongs! I just got ‘A True Novel’ 🙂 Can’t wait to read it in December with you, Jessica and the others. ‘Captivity’ was the first book I thought of reading when I read that article. So glad you thought of that too. I read the first page and I liked it. The history of the Roman Empire from a Jewish point of view – what is not to like? Can’t wait for December and January! Thanks so much again!


  9. I have read Captivity and loved it…and highly recommend it. Due to many issues this year, though, I didn’t post on it. Let me take some time in January, then, to go back through my notes and try to make some coherent posts. It fits in nicely with many ancient-Rome-related books I’ll be posting on in the next few months. I have only posted on one of Spiró’s plays, and loved it as well. I’m hoping more of his work is translated to English. Thanks so much for pulling this together!

    Liked by 1 person

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