from Ali Hussain
April 2nd 2014

Prague, ever since I happened to come across it browsing the section of American literature at a forgettable university library in little Bratislava, has captivated me ever since. I took it out. I read it the once, outdoors in the Presidential Gardens, on a bench just off the old Town in Krakow, in a house in the Buda Hills, and in cafes all over the Slovakian capital. And then read it twice, three times. It has still, three years later, that mesmeric hold over me. And, having finally purchased a copy rather than renew loan after loan at that library, I will read it again, and luxuriate over it again, remembering the places and feelings it evoked that first summer. I've read most of your oeuvre and that first of your works, all of which are as various in nature as they are similar in style, has the remnants of a wonder and fun and lyrical magic that I have found across the next two of your following novels. You really are a treat to read and many of your ideas and characters and themes seem to embody, sometimes directly, sometimes through involuntary association, a little of the mindset and ideas I myself harbour. I would be delighted to know when next you plan to be in the UK, it would be a pleasure to meet you and hear you talk a little about your fiction. Look forward to reading more of you!

from Hedi
April 1st 2010

What a tour de force! What a lark! I am lost completely in your book every night. I was living in Szeged in 1990 and moved to near Budapest the next year. I had no idea the Budapest scenery offered so much excitement to those expats while languishing in Godollo... It probably wasn't unless (someone was) in the company of intellectual giants like you. I moved to London in 1994 and to the US in 1998. I was actually living in New York in 2002 when your book was published. I remember seeing it in the stores but found the title too fin-de-sicle for my liking. I was actually unemployed at the time, losing my job (in a subterrain 1BR apartment in the Upper West Side - not unlike those would-be venture capitalists in your book in Budapest) on Oct 11, 2001. The date is impossible to forget. Anyway, I moved back to Hungary, and Budapest this time in 2005, after my job at Columbia U ran out and got sick of the city. I think nobody but absolutely nobody can understand and appreciate your book as much as I do. You are an astute observer, most enjoyably so when you say things like "the angry bartender consulted a little booklet" as to how to make a Rob Roy, a cocktail. They ARE assholes, those people, expected to serve the customers but it is changing. Not nearly fast enough though. ps. When are you coming for a book tour in Budapest?

from Neil
March 11th 2010

In the same years that John Price was found himself in Prague, I was living in Japan. Though there are American communities in Japanese cities, I avoided them. To support my family I ended up working in a cigarette lighter factory and later --- more happily --- at Nissan. The entire time I was reading Prague I kept reflecting on those years, on what it means to be an American living in another country. The Japanese look up to us, copy us. But they could make no sense of an American taking the dirtiest jobs. Soon after those years, Japan's economy shrunk as did those contract factory jobs. I went on to simpler jobs including delivering newspapers (the police often stopped me at 3:00 a.m. in their own version of racial profiling). I returned home in 1999, divorced, with my mixed-race, Japanese-speaking daughter. I hated the characters in your book with the exception of John Price who --- while not liking --- I held out hope for. I hope his years after Prague are more enlightened. To this day, the one maxim I take from living in Japan is "I won't read anything about Japan written by an American or anything written by a Japanese" Since your book is about Americans, that maxim wouldn't apply (besides Budapest isn't Okinawa).

from TRACE
February 13th 2010

It was after the wall came down and all the talk of young americans going to prague captured my attention. I was ready to sell everything and go. then I fell in love and never packed my bags. one day not too long after..the city was torn by a flood that destoyed books held in a tower, the most coveted collections of the city were at risk. what I most remember of that time was that I really prayed they saved the books. i will start reading yours really, i just awoke to find your talent..thanks.

from Naama
November 25th 2009

Today was the most beautiful day of the whole year, as I managed to draw out the last 20 pages as long as I could, after reading the first 350 or so in three days... I sat in a hair salon and read, sobbing, sobbing at just the language and the emotional weight of EVERYTHING, of the character's lives, of all of history, of my own life, having to say good-bye to the characters. So many surprises in those last twenty, each bucket of ice-cold water over my head. I finally got home and did everything I could before allowing myself to read those last five... Sobbing and just sobbing at words, much the way I sobbed throughout the last pages of my Kundera. And then after that saline catharsis, I found beautiful things happened, each synchronous with the novel (a promise from my expat lover, in Bulgaria, a definite trip to PRAGUE in December, an introduction to a man who took advantage of that same time and economy by building one of his Spearmint Rhino gentlemen's clubs IN Prague... the completion of my own writing, just a monthly column but one of which I'm particularly proud.) And then I came home again, after this beautiful day, this time to the read novel on my bed, and I started sobbing again, so I hid the book under the covers and found your website. I'm going tomorrow to buy the Egyptologist, and Song for You, if I can find it at Skylight Books, where I found you, and where I'll so gratefully, gratefully, get to meet you on March 31st, 2010... (When that '10 will probably still be feeling like science fiction.) Thank you.

from Csapó Angéla
November 14th 2009

I've just finished Prague and I just want to say a 'thank you' for it. When I was given the book as a present I expected to be too frustrated to be able to read it through the end. Partly, cos I'm quite fed up with the stereotypes one usually find when reflected by foreigners, partly, because the 90s should have been the time of my happy twenties, which it failed to be. Your book, however, turned out to be much more, made me think about myself and the way I (or we) relate to the world. Special thanks for the Imre Horváth line.

from Geza
October 1st 2008

Dear Author, I red an article in Nepszabadsag ( in the Faces section about an American man called David Young and from his story I recognised some elements of Charles Gabor and Imre Horvath story. Could he be the sample for the Horvath Kiado-part of your book? Besides I would like to thank you for polite approach and great emphasis for Hungary in the transition period from communism to capitalism. You seem to be a lot more critical to Westerners than to Hungarians. Finally, I was shocked by reading the story of Imre Horvath: my father took over his late father's factory in the age of 23 in 1945 while most of his family was dead, he developed it from its ruins and it was taken from him in 1949. You almost wrote our family's story, without knowing a single member of it.

from Matt
July 31st 2007

I just returned from Budapest about three years after reading Prague. In some ways I don't think I fully understood the nuances of the novel until I saw the city for my self and what it has experienced over over the past century.

from SlowRain
June 3rd 2007

I thought "Prague" was a great debut novel. The characters were real and affecting–I often recommend this novel as a follow-up to "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens for (self-)examining the attitudes and character of younger people–the narrative was smooth and detailed, the plot moved forward well and, along with the history and setting, was quite interesting. A good read! SlowRain

from Jim Dobson
December 11th 2006

I liked your site.

from Allegro
October 6th 2006

from Miles Pieri
August 9th 2006

Having lived in Budapest myself, I really felt that mr. Phillips captured the essence of what it is to live in that city as a 'kulfoldi'. A really beautiful book about a truly beautiful place. It made me homesick for my little apartment by Arpad Bridge! Miles Pieri, Houston, TX

from Regards, Carn MacGregor
July 9th 2006

I don't know how to intelligently (or otherwise) add to the praise that you have already heard for The Egyptologist. Do writers ever get tired of praise? You would know much better than I. I will say though, that I have been nursing along a real good writer's block for the past couple of years, and reading the Egyptologist has inspired me to finally give it up and get back to work. Regards, Carn MacGregor.

from Gordon Comstock
June 11th 2006

Brilliant read, Mr. Phillips. Aggressive and taut. I truly enjoyed this debut of yours and expect nothing short of continued success for you. My best, Gordon.

from Jay Pearson
March 2nd 2006

Let me know when you will be in D.C.

from Richard Vaughn
February 22nd 2006

Still 30 pages from the end, this book has reminded me why I first began traveling abroad when I was in high school, and have continued through college (now having just graduated). The real life adventure of a real life place is far more overwhelming, with its mundane daily events set against remarkable historical backdrops, than any conceived adventure a tv show or book could come up with. I'm now very inspired to spend more time in Eastern Europe. //Richard Vaughn

from Donna Jados
January 23rd 2006

What a wonderful novel. I can't get it out of my head. It is a true gift of wonder. It makes me stop and think. It is one of those joys of life that's so refreshing.Thank you!

from Jen Baier
August 8th 2005

Phenomenal, Mr. Phillips. You've turned this self-proclaimed book-junkie on to literature in a way she never knew was possible. The paragraph before the new chapter on page 92 is breathtaking and represents everything I want to do as a writer. Thank you for showing me that there is still quality literature out there.

from Thomas Miko
July 7th 2005

Dear Arthur, I assume that you don't remember me. I was the overweight, balding, blonde Hungarian guy at the booksigning in Pasadena at Vroman's Bookstore (3 years ago?). We had this interesting conversation after the booksigning about how I lived in Hungary from 1984 to 87, before the political changes. Anyway, the reason that I am writing is that I'd like your input or advice. This is your fault, really: I wound up reading Milan Kundera because of you. Actually, I wound up reading several of his books. My favorite (because it was the least depressing of the stack) was 'Immortality'. I even bought a copy for a friend who's a 19 year old college student, and trying to figure out life, women, etc.,. So, I have this habit of alternating what I read: one non-fiction book (history or science or better yet, history of science) alternating with one fiction book (anything from 'Moby Dick' to Jack Higgins). I was browsing in a bookstore a week ago, and ran across a facsimile edition of the first edition of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'. I have heard of the book, and am familiar with the premise, along with the stream-of-consciousness style in which it is written. So I started reading the book. Well, Arthur, I'm still on page 67. Ouch. To me, it's too "out there". Also, I suspect that a lot of the cultural/historical/ references in the book are too arcane for a hip, modern, sophisticated Angeleno like moi. Man, I thought that Kundera was slow in the first few chapters (of each book)! What should I do??? Should I tough it out? Part of me thinks that the book is just a pretentious pile of literary gobbledygook, and that quite like the townsfolk who admired the emperor's new clothes, those who told me in the last week "Oh, it's a classic, it's wonderful!" are afraid to dissent, and tell me that it's boring and obtuse. Whaddya think??? Tom (Miko' Tama's) in Claremont, California

from Frederick Rein
July 2nd 2005

Started reading your book at "The Hungarian Pastry Shop"....

from Anne Bianco Frecka
June 15th 2005

Just read The Egyptologist. Found it superior to Prague for my tastes. What a downer, to read something so incredible and know you will never write something like it yourself. Halfway through Prague, not as enthused, not surprised for the first novel but intrigued by these ideas: that irony or postmodernist attitude is perhaps an attribute of an age that is waiting for something great, for for greater things to happen. Waiting. I love mulling on these ideas in Prague, among others about nostalgia. Just incredible stuff.

from Emoke Nagy
June 5th 2005

Hi! I've never lived in Budapest, i don't really like it (not to say i hate it), but I love Prague, this is why my parents gave this book to me as a birthday present. After reading it i realized, that i like YOUR Budapest. Thank you.

from Mary Phillips
May 22nd 2005

After seeing you on Jeopardy, you strongly resemble my husband's brother, Guy William Phillips, who died in 1924, leaving a young son whose name was Arthur Frank. His wife's name was Bernice Crucilla Hayes. She later remarried a Corwin. If he could be your grandfather and you are interested, I have pictures. I wrote to Jeopardy after your appearance but it was returned a year later from the post office saying it was found on the floor. I have done a lot of family geneology and that is why I'm interested in you. I'd be happy to send copies of pictures of Guy William if you are related. Thank you. Mary Phillips

from Jay Pearson
May 5th 2005

Congratualtions on your literary success. Apparently I need to get out more because I was unfamiliar with your book but I look forward to reading it. Paris is a long ways from Kenwood, buddy, and I am glad to hear that you are doing good things.

from Piri & Nandi
April 26th 2005

Hello Artu'r! Your hungarian supporter (M. Nagy Miklos) called you like this, because it is easier to pronounce your name so for us, hungarians... Thanks for coming to the International Bookfestival to Budapest. We haven't read your books already, but after the introduction of your second novel at the festival, we decided to read them, firstly Prague. We are really interested in what kind of impressions had an american guy about Budapest, even if the early '90s were hard time for us. It is good to know, that a guy from the US can feel nostalgia for Hungary... Hope to see you again

from Jeannie
April 11th 2005

Just finished Prague yesterday. Unfortunately, not in time to participate in the final days of the Barnes & Noble on-line discussion. Thanks to Arthur for an amazing book - a true work of art. I can't wait to start The Egyptologist.

from Michael Halpin
April 2nd 2005

I've just finished the book... and I'm impressed. I lived in Budapest during the same period you were there and you've captured much of what I remember. The office I worked out of was in the ugly modern building adjacent to Gerbeau's on the west side of Vorosmarty Ter. The business, night life, and street scenes certainly capture the flavor of what was goin on and provide a vivid background to an examination of reality, life, and sincerity. One small and unimportant flaw only apparent to those of us who were there... on page 93 after leaving Karen's apartment John walks past "the new Burger King in Octagon" ...the problem is that the scene takes place in the summer of 1990 and the Burger King at Octagon Ter did not open until the summer of 1991. Since your novel treats time as a variable you might easily fix this tiny problem in subsequent editions and create a market for book collectors at the same time.

from mumu
February 25th 2005

i love this site by me ok.

from An admirer
February 11th 2005

Today, I saw you on Jeopardy: The Ultimate Tournament of Champions, defeating one tough opponent, Babu. Your brilliant performance won me over: you have yourself another fan. I can't wait to read the two novels that Alex Trebec mentioned on the show.

from Tom Cubbage
February 1st 2005

Arthur: It was a pleasure having a chance to meet you yesterday. I look forward to reading (more of) your work. Tom Cubbage

from Kimberly Stern
January 17th 2005

My husband did business in Budapest for several years and we traveled there ... your book was fascinating, and really captured the feeling of the expat scene. Now that you're living in Paris, I would love to read your take on that city and the young expats there. I just finished Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon and throught alot about Prague and your angles ...

from Don Cookson
November 24th 2004

"Just finished Egyptologist prior to meeting you (again) at the Harvard Bookstore reading in Cambridge, September 28. Had read Prague as well and you kindly did a two-fer with sigs for both books! Great reading. Interestingly, the news broke in the Boston Globe yesterday about Egyptologist Kent Weeks and remains of the sons of Rameses II. Shades of your novel! Congratulations and full steam ahead on your next. I am the marketing agency guy you did the career exploration interview with in Marlborough, MA many sunsets ago. Still trying to get it right, now in America's Hometown. The very best to you, your young family and to the many successes ahead.

from Vanessa
November 22nd 2004

Bonjour! Thanks for visting Miami and signing my T.S.Eliot, Four Quartets. 'Twas wonderfully kind of you.

from Tucker McCrady
November 16th 2004

Arthur, I finished Prague just last month. At this point, both my worries about John and my crush on Emily Oliver are finally beginning to recede, as the sensible side of me begins to reassert itself by way of a sense of foolishness as to the intensity with which one can care about fictional characters. But what a marvelous book. I was a great fan of yours during your first career (in all seriousness), but this is really something, truly.

from Keith Andrew Perry
November 15th 2004

Great book. An inspiration to the aspiring.

from Amy
November 7th 2004

I lived in Budapest and Prague, spread over several months. When I left I had an intense feeling of needing to leave - as I couldnt remember the feeling of love that I once felt. I am enjoying this novel because it frighteningly mirrors my own experience in Budapest. All of the buildings and streets, I also walked down and stood staring up at the buildings with a sense of nostalgia and wonder - as though I wanted to see it all in black and white because it was more beautiful this way. Two After returning home to Canada, I have stumbled upon this book and once again I am happy to remeber my time there. When you write about being outside of the language, I know first hand or the cafes and sullen waitresses or the insistant hungarian speaking at you in hungarian even after you have made it clear that you cannot speak hungarian. I just wanted to write this small piece because I do not know any one else who has been to this city and spent time living there - which was part of the appeal for myself - however, it makes connecting with others on this time of my life pretty well non existant. p.s. How bizarre to see the photo of the bridge - I took the very same photo and it makes me question, how many others have taken the same photo and what are their narratives?

arthurOctober 29th 2004

Doug Bennett - I only mean that the city is radically different in 2004 than in 1990 in a million ways, and, of course, it was also a place in which I spent an important time of my life, which is also quite gone... Best wishes, Arthur

from Doug Bennett
October 28th 2004

Arthur, I enjoyed "Prague" so much, it's one of the best books I've read in a while. Question: In your "History of a novel called "Prague" here on the web site, you say that Budapest, as described in the book, "no longer exists". What do you mean?

from Owen
October 27th 2004

Arthur, I bought your first novel in the summer of 2003 and I haven't read a more enjoyable piece since, though Gibson's Pattern Recognition looks good. Curses on you, however. Not only do I now have an obsession with Eastern Bloc countries, my own writing has been forever tainted by your fascinating style. I forgive you I suppose. Thanks for writing something worth reading. I guess that's the best thing I can say. Cheers from Oregon.

from Andrew Pressburger
October 13th 2004

I first learned of your book via The Prague Post, natch. Though born in Budapest, I too have an irrepressible yearning for the Czech capital while visiting my native city. The noted Hungarian poet of the "Nyugat" generation, Arpad Toth (after whom the promenade behind the Hilton hotel in Buda is named) once wrote a poem called Ulloi uti fak (The Trees of Ulloi Boulevard [the long street taking one to Ferihegy and thence, by air, to Prague]). About the time in which your story is set, a rock group came into being which used as its name the title of the said poem; only they changed the a sound in the word fak to the, in Hungarian non-existent, short a (using the English spelling, i.e. u), with predictably scandalous results. For better or for worse, reading your picaresquely romanticized postmodern novel reminded me of this. If the above sounds confusing, please instal on this web site differentiating fonts such as bold or italic. Best wishes, Andrew

from Leonor
September 27th 2004

Haven't read any of your books yet,but can't wait to read "the egyptologyst" I've been a full time mom for the last 4 years,even though I don't read as much now,still enjoy really good books.I think I'll find something really good in yours,especially after reading you quoted Milan Kundera!!!

from Sam Coleman
September 23rd 2004

Arthur, I just wanted to say that I'm anticipating your future Amsterdam speaking date. I used to be editor of Budapest Week for many years and we were all stunned how fantastic Prague was. Your insights and prose are amazing. I hope that we can meet. I'm trying to arrange an interview for a Dutch paper I work for, if not maybe just a friendly coffee. Best Sam

from Courtney
September 15th 2004

After spending several weeks as a camp counselor for Arthur’s son I was curious as to what the book would be like. I knew if he was anything like his son the book would be very entertaining and imaginative. I of course also had several chances to me Arthur and I am amazed at how he handles this very successful career and the daily trips with his son to places such as Australia to go scuba diving and Indonesia to hunt komodo dragons :). I am enjoying the book very much. I just wanted to wish the best of luck to Arthur and to his son who I have a feeling could also be a very successful author. It was wonderful to meet your entire family and thanks for a great time at camp. Sincerely Courtney

from marcia
September 7th 2004

just got done with prague it was excellent.

from Joshua Mensch
September 6th 2004

A real doozy.

from John Connor
August 5th 2004

Loved the book, and I look forward to the next one.

from Ira Grushow
March 12th 2004

Having visited both cities (for the first time) briefly last year and with some slight Hungarian background, I picked up your book wholly on impulse and was delighted both by its architecture and linguistic versatility ("coifed weekly"/"coughed weakly"--what better way to convey effeteness?). I didn't mind that characterization was subordinated to a grander theme of charting the pilgrimage of neo-expats, and I found the embedded "histories" fascinating. Unfortunately, for this pedant their effectiveness was somewhat mitigated by the faux Latin ("Corpus" is a neuter noun; and the plural of "Venus," is more likely to be "Veneres"). These are slips that should have been picked up by your editor.

from Marilena
February 14th 2004

Well done! Felt like I was back in Budapest. Also reminded me of the time I spent living in Egypt as an ex-pat. Seems all ex-patriots think the same no matter what generation or place.

from Henrik Pauli
February 1st 2004

First of all, this is a great book. Mind, sometimes a bit confusing, but that doesn't render it bad or anything. It's very good, and I really liked the very accurate description of the city. A good film could be made of this book. Greetings from Budapest, keep up the great work!

from Merwin
January 26th 2004

This is the best book I've read in years. You should be very proud of this extraordinary achievement. It's wonderful how you seem to enjoy using words to do so much more than delineate a plot! I can't wait to see your name on the front of another novel.

from Angela
January 5th 2004

Well done.

from c
December 28th 2003

Please notify me when this book will be available as a sound recording on tape or cd. Thank you very much. It was an awesome experience.

from laura
December 12th 2003

"my guest book," --would that imply that the author has invited comment? Hope so, as this would be addressed to him(?). Haven't even finished Prague (and wonder if the title will somehow explain itself more opaquely seeing as its definitiely not set in that city of liguist infamy, etc.) but am enjoying it to an inordinate degree. Has to do with the words. Words that capture what I understand, but would nevertheless never articulate so obliquely on the mark muself. Which is to say I identify, (or in more modern termsl resonate) with the wonderful mindsets of the characters. And the setting provides the perfect opportunity for those mindsets to have free rein. We here tied to the bouguoise predicaments of approaching middle age, middle class persuits can only afford to visit and to dabble with the profound. Thankyou M. Phillips for allowing me such enjoyable dabble time. And for giving it the poeticly prosaic voice that unearths it so well.

from Francois Jakob
October 27th 2003

As the story goes, I read about "Prague" in the French newspaper Le Monde about a translation and thought this might be worth reading. Ten days later, my daughter came back from the US with your book. Brand new, beautifully printed (this IS a nice font) and found in a paper waste bin (sorry for that but this is the truth). I just finish reading it and thought i wanted to know more by visiting this site. Lots of expats reminding good old time. I spent a couple of years in the early 80's in California. Computer scientists, scilicon Valley, not at all the same story but at least it made me able to appreciate your wonderfull way of writing. Can't wait to read the next one !

from Alexandria Toth
October 15th 2003


from Debra Levine
October 15th 2003

Hello Arthur Phillips, I am finishing and savoring the last pages of Prague. Haven't had this much fun with a novel in years. Completely rings true to my experience as an expat in Hong Kong and China in the early 80s. Also, fell in love with a Hungarian that I met in Beijing so spent lots of time in BP and am obsessed by Hungary. Your book was right up my alley, but beyond that incredibly well written and beautifully observed. Congratulations, fantastic achievement. Debra Levine Los Angeles

from george sember
October 1st 2003

I enjoyed the book. Did you ever run into Gabor Szabo while you were in Hungary? You are probably aware that he was a popular jazz guitarist in the USA. I believe that he returned to Hungary for some reason and eventually passed away. I met a Hungarian bartender in San Francisco who said he used to know him when they were high school age. I think Gabor recorded in Hungary with Chick Corea before he passed away. I've got a vinyl copy of the album. Anyway, I enjoyed the book very much. Best of luck

from Steve Dezso
September 15th 2003

Essence is of the time.

from John Nelson
September 12th 2003

Mr. Phillips, I have just finished reading Prague and enjoyed it immensely. I have a doltish confession to make that I should probably keep to myself. Prague is the first non-linear novel I have enjoyed thoroughly. Blind surrender of oneself to the best intentions and limited omniscience of an author who challenges his readers is a difficult thing to do. (Implicit in the bargain is trust: Does the obscured and endless garden path the author leads us down open into a refreshing view or another dead end?) Whereas I find most of William Gibson's books maddening, Prague's dutiful meanderings pay off handsomely. I look forward to reading The Wild East.

from phil lane
September 11th 2003

mr. phillips, i met you in july in raleigh, nc where i work at Quail Ridge Books. I just wanted to say again how much Prague has meant to me, and to tell you that i look forward to your next novel with baited breath! Thanks again for sharing this wonderful story with the world!

from Joseph D.
August 18th 2003

Your book really made sense to me. I understand so well the feeling that I'm always missing out on the "next best thing."

from Rob
August 9th 2003

I was a student in Vienna and traveled throughout central Europe before the fall, and have been back since. Your book captures the atmosphere and the people so very well. Congratulations

from Scott Stavrou
August 8th 2003

Great meeting you at your Aug. SF Haight Street reading (as well as 'Dave from high school')...and I hope next time you swing out west you might have time for a drink and more book talk or an email (if not here, Rusoff has mine as well.) Looking forward to your next big book and hope by then I'm also with Rusoff and en route to following in your well trodden and large literary footsteps, Scott Stavrou

from Diane Cross
August 7th 2003

My Mom's 90th Birthday is this Sunday aug. 10th. I got this book for her to remember all the visits she has made to Budapest, and for taking my sister and I their in 85, so we could experience the city our grandparents were born in. I also fell in love with Prague so much that I hope to return one day with my husband. I would love to give my Mother an e mail from you wishing her a Happy Birthday to insert in the book. I read the article in the Island Packet and I knew then that I had to get your book for her. Even at 90 she still dreams of going back and the tears start to flow with her memories. Sincerely Diane Cross

from JQ
August 2nd 2003

Thank you for being an independent thinker. Very inspiring. J.Q.

from Lenine
July 29th 2003

Young as I am, I've dreamt of traveling to East Europe for years. I want to visit there and see what remained of those times. That maybe I could see it, you know. I loved this book simply because they live it -that feeling, looking for the right time, the right place. I feel like that right here. Anyway. God, I just fucking love this book.

from joan
July 25th 2003

I was happy to meet you at your appearance in St. Paul and enjoyed the discussion of your book. I found it especially interesting to hear about your writing process. I enjoyed the book and I'm looking forward to reading your book about Egypt (not to mention Lake Minnetonka!).

from Mike
July 25th 2003

It was truly a treat to talk with you at the signing in Madison, and now more than before, the ethnocentrist in me wishes "The Winter Zoo", though also a laudable debut, had been written more in the same vein as your piece. As one who would like to pen a tome or two himself, I was pleased that you shared some of the methodology used in the conception/construction of various aspects of the story. I look forward to more works and visits. Mazel tov, Mr. Phillips!

from Pamela Miller
July 23rd 2003

"Prague" is the most remarkable novel I've read in a decade. It opened so many windows, ranging from childhood memories spent in 1960 Europe as a military brat to a new way of reading the newspaper I work at. I find myself saying to myself, Americans are children sometimes. Thank you for an absolutely marvelous and enduring novel. I look forward to the next one.

from Chris
July 21st 2003

I found time to read this novel twice, something that normally only happens with Conrad or Faulkner. And then I realized many of your (I realize I may be going out on a limb to assume Thou dost read this bulletin board, but perhaps a fellow close reader can assist,) damn sentences are about as impenetrable as theirs. The repeat read of Prague came at an almost record short interval, too. Only WG Sebald has got you beat, which is good company, and now you have the opportunity to surpass him. Arthur Phillips, you probly don't need any more positive reinforcement from strangers. I'm writing because I have a burning question: I admire the elliptical dialog, but I was stopped short in both readings near the end of the book: the scene in which, as Gabor prepares to fly away from his despised quasi-homeland, he's wrestling with what remains of his conscience over his business dealings with Horvath—who, Gabor says, got more out of the sale of the press than some people would say he deserves. Paraphrase: "But I won't repeat that old slur ... and besides, I don't agree with it." What slur is that? I wracked my memory for every slur I could remember about Hungarians (I could only think of three—depressive, soft on porn, and they love to overtake people circumambulating revolving doors,) expatriates, refugees, capitalists, publishers, etc., and couldn't come up with any reasonable answer. PLEEZ HEEEEELP!

from Kar
July 17th 2003

Simply an astounding novel. Great work!

from Szilardne Horvath Zsuzsa
July 15th 2003

Dear Arthur, It was fantastic meeting you in Raleigh and listening to your presentation. I was wishing it would not end for hours. I haven't read the book yet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy it and will give it as a gift to friends and my children. What a nack you have for knowing human nature --- and at such a young age! Thanks again for your book, for your presentation, for having had the opportunity to have met you. If you go back to Hungary, please be sure to visit Pecs, my birth city --- it's another one of those places you cannot help but fall in love with and keep in your heart forever. Sok szerencset! Szilard (Horvath) Zsuzsa

from Yusuf Nasrullah
July 15th 2003

This book (PRAGUE) came out around the same time as my favourite Ian McEwan's "Atonement", so it was a clash of interests...but I'm now intent on reading it, after having heard loads of praise from close friends!

from maura sullivan
July 15th 2003

Prague is an important book. It defines for me the aching loneliness of young adulthood that is only temporarily assuaged by companionship and pleasure. I think Prague is about a time, not a place.

Tara SmithJuly 12th 2003

I just had my first trip to Europe back in March and my three closest friends and I went to Prague. I was in awe the entire time I was there. It is such a beautiful city and the Czech culture is amazing. Just the other day as I was driving my friend to the airport for his flight back to Argentina, I fell upon your book at the Relay store. You should have seen my face light up. I cant wait to finish reading your novel.

from David W. Hawkins
July 9th 2003

A wonderful novel with depth-filled characters and a place completely new to me.

from Jenny Willis
July 9th 2003

Dear Arthur, I guess what I thought was so interesting was the way you looked at the way we formulate our history and identity on so many levels--national, cultural, familial and personal, and how we lie to others about all these things, and how we often believe our own fictions. Also it brings up the question: When are we overidentified (or under-identified) with things that are not ourselves--our countries, our history, our families? Also loved Mark's character--I am not a nut job but I share many of his feelings, including feelings about the year 2000. Thought his going up and down the funicular was brilliant--he's like an addict. Also like the way you make up words that seem necessary. Anyway, also look for Liz Zachos in Cambridge and good luck with the rest of your tour, and will tell the book club they can ask questions. The last book we read was Fried Green Tomatoes, though we have tackled more sophisticated things. We have a few drinks before we discuss anything, but maybe we should keep a clear head for your book!

from Alex Knisely
June 30th 2003

Working my way through PRAGUE for the second time; enjoying it as much / differently / more. Good to learn from another guestbook entry that a translation into Hungarian has appeared. Will you post instructions, please, on how to purchase it through a Hungarian on-line bookstore? Some friends whose English is patchy deserve copies.

from susie f
June 29th 2003

Ciao Arthur..I am honored to say now that you are truly famous , succesful, and all that goes with these, You still like my pizza the best. I'll never forget your angel hair with rosemary, you multitalented american you. Don't get all full of yourself that you can't throw together a meal for good friends now. In all seriousness, I couldn't be more proud of you. There is not a person who is more deserving than you my friend!! I've always known how bright and cleverly witty you were, but this is incredible!! Fabulous for you and your family!! Baci and abracci....susie F

from Pam
June 27th 2003

Congratulations on a wonderful book! Hope to see many, many more from you.

from Aniko Eipl
June 25th 2003

Dear Arthur, Thanks for the novel. I'm only half way through, but I already now how much I like it. It has just been published in Hungary, my attention was cought by an interview with the translator - good job, I can assure you, knowing both languages. Thank you for showing this picture about this fantastic city. I'm at the same age as your youngsters, even though I'm Hungarian, I moved to Budapest only 5 years ago - thanks for expressing MY thoughts about the city! I'm still amazed its your first novel. I'm doing a strong advertising campaign for your book among my friends... If it matters, my view on American young people is changing... Good luck!

from Gergely Kanyicska
June 21st 2003

I'm finally working my way through this book, I couldn't for the longest time read it because it felt too much like, like me. I'm 24 and haven't been back to Hungary in 17 years. This book made me severly nostalgic, which completes it I guess--me looking at the picture you've taken of the "meaningful" old and pornographic new in Budapest. I loved it. About to start the final act now, well after I get some work done. But, I don't want to leave you with too swollen an ego (gotta keep the geniuses in line): The MBA exam bit just didn't work. I guess complaining about the format--not the writing-- of 2 pages out of the 200 or so that I've read isn't much of a complaint. I hope someday that my own meanderings through an uneventful life weighed down by terminal nostalgia will someday pay off as nicely. Though I wouldn't say your life was uneventful. (Though we chose what pictures we frame, don't we?) Well shit, I didn't mean to write my first novel in this comments box. So I'll end this rant. -g

from Sam
June 12th 2003

Thanks for such an fascinating novel. It has fueled my desire to experience Eastern Europe and I look forward to reading your next

from Tim
June 11th 2003

Just finished reading Prague for the second time, about one year after reading it the first. Picked it up at the book store in the summer of last year after returning from a whirlwind trip of Europe. I enjoyed my time in Budapest the most of all the places I visited and thought reading (and rereading) your book would be a great way to revisit the city. A wondeful read. Thank you.

from Martin
May 27th 2003

Prága (Hungarian edition) Európa Publishng House, Budapest

from john wiecking
May 26th 2003

Halfway through _Prague_, I have found many clever passages and some near-brilliant ones. The character of Charles/Karoly is an impressive achievement--likely to rank with Widmerpool among the great s***s of 20th/21st century Anglophone literature. As a non-Magyar speaker, though, I wonder if the Magyar text contains as many simple errors as one finds in the German and Latin ("Corpus Sanus"? come on!).

from Zhenya Karelina
May 14th 2003

I cannot do anything anymore, Prague is completely occupying my time. I am in love with the characters and how detailed your writing is...I want to be these people. I want to end the book just so that i can reread it. I want to share it with the world but i'm afriad they will not appreciate it. Thank you so much!

from Patrick Brassell
April 29th 2003

Congratulations on the LA Times award! Well deserved. I met you at the festival Saturday afternoon, you signed my book, and I DEVOURED it Saturday night!! Fantastic work...can't wait to see more.

from Joan Siegel
April 28th 2003

Congrats on receiving the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes annual ceremony Saturday night. So well deserved!

from Mark Hymers
April 25th 2003

'Prague' is one of the finest novels I've read in a long time. I have an interest in Hungary, the people and their language and so it was serendipity to pick up a novel about Prague only to find that it is set in Budapest. New Brunswick, Canada

from Mark Mann
April 6th 2003

I am enjoying reading your book. My wife and I are going to Budapest in April, and then will be going to Prague. We were in Prague in December, 2001 and were last in Budapest 20 years ago. I thought it was syncrhonistic when I found your book recently.

from Jenny Thurber Willis
April 4th 2003

Hello Arthur. You probably don't remember me, but I am a friend of your brother's. You did not like that I shouted out answers to Jeopardy! questions when it was not my turn, which is klind of obnoxious I guess. I went to your On Thin Ice things, and fencing things, and band things. Remember? Anyway, we are reading your book in my book club (my suggestion) and enjoying it. Wanted to say congratulations.

from Irwin Rubin
April 4th 2003

Just finished your book. Not only was it a terrific story, but it is one of the best written novels of the last ten years. Keep up the good work! Would love to read your next.

from Tom A
March 31st 2003

I enjoyed the book immensely, having spent much of the 90s in Moscow, and now looking back and wondering whether I missed things when I had the chance. I was just a teacher like Scott, not making things happen like John or Charles, and didn't usually manage to go to the cool clubs. The book fits so well with where I am in looking at my own life.

from Anca Stefan
March 3rd 2003

Prague was for me the book, the atmosphere and the sweet paralyzing pain I could come back to after each of the hits of superficialism I have suffered. I found myself in your novel because of the many overlapping details Budapest and Bucharest, Romania have in common: The same basic mentality of the Carpathians, the same treatment of ignorance administrated by the West... and yes, the same "staggeringly attractive and effortlessly sophisticated " facture of ordinary people. Thank you for bringing back such a wonderful proof of western complexity and eastern sensibility. Thank you for bringing back Bucharest and Budapest to me, in one of the most intimate, yet elegant relationships.

from Elizabeth
February 17th 2003

In your short time in my birthplace you picked up a touching indepth understandign of the psyche of the history and mentality of this tragic nation. I belong to that "lost generation" that has been displaced to the point that I have no "home" but 2 countries to call "home". Your book made me realize that with since so much time has passed and so much vast differences in opinion, thinking, values have occured - that there is no going back. Though it took your web page to make me understand the reason for the title of your book - I must disagree with your choice. You confused the Hungarians and the Czechs. Fabulous job!

from Thomas Herman
February 16th 2003

I'm only on page 166, but the book is really remarkable. It was recommended to me by the people at the Red Wheel Barrow on rue Charles V in the 4th. I've told everyone about it and have even bought an additional copy for one of my friends here in Paris. It's nice to see a fellow Minnesotan/Parisian with such a gift. It's funny as hell at times, but there's always this certain feeling that we can never know these people. If you have a day job, quit it. Tom

from M. McGill
January 20th 2003

Fabulous read Mr. Phillips. Honestly the best book I've read in years. So many questions asked and so few answered by your book or myself - and I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved it so much that I am considering doing something i rarely do: read it twice. Best of luck with whatever work you have in front of you - from one failed entrepeneur to another :o)

from James Kaplan
January 18th 2003

I met you at The Village Voice (Harry Mathews) and bought your book. I started it last night, after starting several other books trying to find the one I really wanted to read. I am thoroughly enjoying your characters and moreso your craft. I'd love to talk further about it when I finish it. Perhaps I'll see you Sunday or some other time at the VV. By the way, I am a member of The National Puzzler's League and many of our members have gone on Jeopardy--so maybe that's where I remembered you from. Anyway, good to meet you--back to the book. James Kaplan

Ryan PulkrabekJanuary 18th 2003

Enjoyed your book. It brought back many good memories. Of all the questions I have, I'll ask just this one: Was the club Hazam in your novel patterned after the a club Zoufalctzu in Prague.

from Ryan
December 31st 2002

I just found your book at Barnes and Noble. I first became interested in the book because of its title. Having lived in Hungary in the early 90's, then again in 2000, I have an affinity for Eastern Europe. So, I picked up your book, simply hoping to get a flavor of Eastern Europe. Imagine my surprise when the book was about Hungary. Absolutely fabulous. Although I was not an ex pat per se (I was a missionary), I experienced many of the same feelings and emotions as described in the book. Gratualok! I hope there are more books on the horizon.

from Ursula Bosshard
December 29th 2002

A superb book, congratulations - as a European "expat" in the US it touched me on many levels, but apart from that it is beautifully written and I can't wait for the next book! Happy New Year, Arthur -

from Steven Farmer
December 25th 2002

I think I'll check this out... Steven

from Eric H
December 23rd 2002

As someone more interested in the "generation" angle than the ex-pat thing, I think that some of the apparently uniform acclaim for this novel is overdone. Mr Phillips has done his best to politely set aside such attempts to annoint him generation figure status, to his credit. As a MN boy who stayed home, went to a state school, started a career here and hasn't spent more than 10 days of my life in Europe (0 in the East), its hard to see the group of self-conscious, over sexed American yuppies (thats what they are) who moved to Hungary as being representative of my experience. That said, this was an awesome novel with plenty in it that I think many of us can identify with: The fear that the real action is elsewhere, the reality of a decaying cities and societies mixed with overhyped opportunity. There are clearly parallels with the American inner-cities around that same time that represents more of the "generation" experience than Prague, Budapest or elsewhere.

from Peter
December 10th 2002

Arthur, After finishing this article, I could have sworn your character Mark somehow came to life to write it: Loved your book, by the way. Lived in Prague from early 90' to early 94'. Your invention and use of the word "gridironic" was enough to make the read worthwhile. /PK

from Jeremy B
December 4th 2002

I lived in Bp from '93-'98. I sold advertising, translated, wrote a little porn, did a couple voice-overs, acted in a Burger King commercial and ended up on a weekly educational program on Magyar Televizio 2 where among other things I hosted a series on English-speaking expats living there (interviews, etc.). On one of my last programs before returning back to the states I stood at the foot of the Lanchid and--without a hint of irony--said into the camera in Hungarian something like "This is a unique, historical time and place to be living. Someday I will proudly say 'yes, I lived in Budapest in the '90's." Yeeesh. Your book uncovered that specific memory for me and many others both painful and poignant. Thank you.

from Ken Derby
November 30th 2002

August 1990: I arrived in Budapest from the U.S. November 2002: I'm still here. November 2002: I read "Prague" and would like to say that this fine novel captures early 1990s Budapest expat life in an admirable fashion. Many warm and difficult personal memories flooded my mind as I read "Prague." Cudos to you, Arthur Phillips. I wonder if our paths ever crossed while you were here? Drop me an email sometime.

from Bryan W
November 26th 2002

Great book Arthur. You built up John's world, then took it away piece by piece until nothing was left. It was memorable. I hope you make it to Dallas this summer for the paperback tour. Thanks for the read.

from pixie martin
November 21st 2002

Just finished the book and wanted to continue to savor it, be in it. I am a Minneapolitan living in Geneve, Switzerland, having spent my 20's searching Sarawak, Borneo, and other points north of the equator and far from the TC for that connection to the world John knows is there. Loved it. Thanks for lifting the grey fog of Lac Leman and bringing the allure of Europe into focus, again.

from Francis Jenkins
November 4th 2002

I haven't had many good reads lately and being an expat during that same time made me enjoy it all the more. Nicole and I would love to see you two if you ever make to London.

from Harriett Green
October 30th 2002

Prague was a wonderful novel, and was actually the inspiration for my senior thesis this year. My major is History and Literature and I've decided to write my senior thesis on the American expatriate experience in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. I would love to talk to you (or any other Eastern Europe expat who reads this) about your experience--please email me if you are interested in speaking to me! Thanks!

from Lisette
October 28th 2002

The heckler in Miami says Salut! Best fiction I've read this year. Any Cuban-American reared in exile should handily relate to Gabor's return 'home'.

from Kristen Goran
October 15th 2002

Reading the book now -- halfway through. Totally engrossing, even though I can relate to absolutely none of it. Thanks for the experience.

from CT Jim
October 15th 2002

This summer, I read four first books -- first books by new authors. Two were lame, and a third was a brilliant memoir. And then there was "Prague." A positively lovely book that entertained me AND educated me. I seriously couldn't put it down. This book came to me by way of a review on NPR, when the woman said that Phillips' book does everything that Thomas Wolfe pleads for in "Stalking the Billion Footed Beast," an essay he wrote nearly 20 years ago. I heard the review as I was driving towards a bookstore, and in spite of myself, and everything I loathed about Thomas Wolfe, I bought it that night. I particularly enjoyed a specific line that I cannot find again. The American superiority that the characters felt over these Hungarians was summed up beutifully: "Pray to the filthy God of your filthy ancestors." (That's not exactly it, but it was somewhat close -- if you can site the page for me, I'd love to find it again. Email me at Am greatly looking forward to a second and third book. Many thanks, Mr. Phillips. Jim

from boby bear
October 15th 2002

hi thre mr.#211, i'm just killing some time at my second job; i'm also working as a sight coordinator at the cambridge center for adult ed. a mixed bag at the teashop these days; but more on that via your personal e-mail...twas great to see you and your lovely better half recently, keep up the good work, see you soon i hope!!! cheers, boby

from zsuzsanna gyori
October 10th 2002

Thank you for sharing the mystique and passion of those times in Budapest with the world! I hope that you also comment on the "new and improved" Budapest, upon your return. I just returned and miss Budapest, but she has changed! Thank you for taking the time to come to Cleveland. Come back again!

from eric
October 9th 2002

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your reading at KGB last night, and again how much I enjoyed Prague.

from Brandon Perlberg
October 9th 2002

I can't praise this book enough. So many writers have tried, with mediocre or decent results, to capture the essence of that certain ex-pat thing. PRAGUE goes beyond all of that, beyond Lawrence Osbourne and Adam Gopnik, with their 'this is Europe, that was Europe, blah blah blah...' speeches. PRAGUE is Hemingway reborn - elegant and personal and a beautiful portrait of a time and place. It was a pleasure meeting Mr. Philips at his New York book event and I very much look forward to reading his future work.

from Dan Scheer
October 1st 2002

Although Rog keeps me up to date, I thought I'd send my congrats on the novel. No surprise to me you would continue improvising, one way or another. I'm glad more people are hearing this than our Boston stints. Stay well and keep in touch.

from diane
September 28th 2002

Thanks for writing an American novel that challenges us to think about profound historical events from the viewpoint of the Lost Generation.

from peter j. lang
September 28th 2002

hi arthur, belated congratulations on your success. twas an interesting read a few months back. it made me a bit nauseous---which is perhaps the highest compliment i can render to its attention to detail. perhaps i'll see you at the reading in nyc. my best, peter (formerly of bpest & tony)

from Julianna Gulden
September 27th 2002

Have lived in Budapest since 1991 -- as you can imagine I couldn't wait to read your book. Thank you for writing this wonderful novel. I have a feeling I will love it even more 10, 20, 30 years from now. Please give my best to Tony Denninger, who worked with me at one of those PR agencies you so aptly described. Hey! Didn't you work for Mark Holtzman?

from Joe Chevalier
September 25th 2002

I work in a San Francisco area bookstore, and I see a lot of books. Prague is the best one I've seen this year. If you do a tour for the trade edition, I hope you come by Kepler's in Menlo Park. Also I prefer the galley cover to the published cover. There's just something about a smoking blonde...

from Janet Sylvester
September 25th 2002

Arthur--I teach at Harvard and I'm a poet (Norton). I like to read notable first novels. A friend loaned me Prague and I'm sorry to report that I'm about to finish it. It's terrific! Along with stylistic shine, your book has real tensile strength. I hope that you'll read in Boston this year! Well done!

from fabian
September 20th 2002

Hi Arthur ! It's your former Bass Player "Fabian" here. I do live in NYC since last year and just had a gig tonight with Yuichi and Rob Morris. Your name came up and I thought to send you a little note to say Hello. Congratulations to your novel ! All the best of success, Sincerely, Fabian

from tanya
September 20th 2002

is that rufe buzzy? i remember you guys

from hallie hruska
September 20th 2002

I know good writing. thank you. my younger daughter grad. from carleton and lives in the Cities.

from RBuzzy
September 10th 2002

Good book; lived in BP from 94 to 96 (and Debrecen from 96 to 97, if you cna believe it) and hear a lot from what you're writing. I was on the down and out grungy end of the expat spectrum, so I almost had to borrow others clothes to look good enough to go the embassy. Nonetheless, it looks like many of us had the same experiences. Also, just need to confirm that A Hazamban is indeed Tilos. The geography of the place in the book is good, but I don't remeber 7 or so steps to the street, only two or three.

ZoltanSeptember 9th 2002

Let me add my tiny voice to those rave reviews. Thank you for your great love and understanding for my birthplace and its people

from Lajos Héder
September 2nd 2002

PRAGUE is a clever, hip, readable book. I grew up in Budapest and was there a number of times in the early '90-ies. You got the place and most of the surface facts about it right. Your book is really about the young Americans, not so much about Hungary or the Hungarians. This is fair enough, writing about what you know makes sense. I hope that your own personal experience went deeper than that of your characters, but if it did, one cannot sense it in the book. Were affection, humor, lasting friendship, the warmer, wiser irony so common among the best Hungarians involved at all? I enjoyed reading your book, but I hope your next one will dig deeper.

from Sarah
September 1st 2002

I'm reading your book and I must say that its simply wonderful, and one of the best books I've read in a while. I don't want it to end! I can't wait for your next work.

from James Ramsay
August 30th 2002

A New European writes: Arthur. We don't know each other. I don't know any of your family. I didn't see you in diapers, nor predicted your brilliance from your early performance in the 5th grade Christmas pageant. But you've written a damn fine book, with fabulous scope, detail, insight and humour, and I'm heartily recommending it to the many who I think will enjoy it. Must also commend the online presence of "Prague" - first read the glowing review in Salon, now this site with its mailing list. Good one. Glad to see you're moving with the times. Looking forward to your Paris reading.

from joe
August 29th 2002

On the "spy" thing: Although it confused me too that John accused her of being a spy. I put two and two together and basically lunged for the only possible explanation. The word "spy" is Hungarian for "lesbian". And so John was unpoetically letting her know that neither her jaw nor samesexuality was a turnoff to him. I gathered that she turned herself in at the embassy, and as a "spy" she was summarily sent away or left for "sabbatical". Nothing wrong with having to think a bit about your fiction. A good read.

from Keith Leonard
August 27th 2002

What a fantastic book! I have to say it was disruptive to my life getting through it... family, work, workouts all took a temporary backseat to finishing it. Wonderful and thought provoking. Lucerne, Switzerland

from Jon hirsch
August 26th 2002

what a wonderful read...many years ago a smart man sat on the mountain and blessed you with an amazing grasp of that around you...never a doubt in my mind!

TiborAugust 26th 2002

Hey, I know this isn't a discussion board, but I just read the book - and for reasons too insignificant to tell, I had to read it really fast - so I think I must've overlooked something and therefore have a question: Towards the end, John mistakes the hostility between the photographer and Emily for a fight over him - check. From that he follows that Emily is now ready for him - check. So he kisses her in the rain etc. - check. Her reaction baffles him - check. BUT: then he tells her he doesn't mind she's a spy - where did that come from? And what has it got to do with her quitting/being fired from the embassy? Please advise, o guests in the guestbook... loved the novel, by the way...

from Sarah
August 26th 2002

I lived in Budapest six years after you departed and still found many aspects of your book to be highly applicable. You shed light on my Hungarian experience as well. Koszonom szepen Arthur!

from Adrian
August 20th 2002

Haven't read it yet, but mean to...

from Jerry
August 19th 2002

I read on the el in Chicago to and from work, and suddenly my commute seems too short! I don't want to close the book and go to work! I hope another will follow soon...thanks.

from Robin Umbley
August 19th 2002

hey...I just read the first chapter. So far, so good. Having been to that part of the world, I understand completely.

from Ned Stick
August 17th 2002

Remember that knowing, excitement one feels after completing a novel, ussually in the early morning, that you couldn't put down, that has claimed a permanent spot in the back of your mind, available for future Oblique consideration. I had not attained this high with such meaning since my first Keorcac. Dreamed an appendix worth of subsequent plots, lives of characters, future endings. I found myself re-considering my accaintenances, friends, choices and the events from that brief, memorable period that indeed felt Right Here, Right Now. Hence, and rightly so, comparisons to other generational novels. Excellent, clever work Arthur. Clearly, you have a great talant. Please don't blow it. And for god sake don't allow hollywood scum to make a movie of what could be a wonderful film. Free advice - talk directly to Richard Linklater in Austin. He is your man. Again, my thanks and congratulations on an exceptional novel.

from Stewart Milch
August 16th 2002

Remarkable work. So much so that I bought another copy for my father, who grew up and lived there until '56.

from Fredric Alan Maxwell
August 16th 2002

Congrats on your 5th printing and the best with your work-in-progress

from Stephen
August 15th 2002

One hell of a book. Please let me know when you're in my neck of the woods.

from Ray Walsh
August 15th 2002

I'm nearly finished and like Mark will be sorry to see the moment pass. Must know if you'll ever be reading in Chicago.

from Amy Paxton
August 14th 2002

Thank you for writing this treasure, I am enjoying it immensly, as I am currently about a third of the way through. Both my husband and two of our close friends taught English in both Budapest and Prague in the mid-nineties, which makes your book all the more interesting for me, remembering some of their stories. We are currently in Paris for French language courses and can see why you must love it here! I look forward to reading your future works and will keep an eye on your tours dates.

from peter lefrancois
August 14th 2002

It was very easy to identify and like the characters.

from dan bloom
August 14th 2002

Great book, great title, grear writing, great national PR, great breakthrough, great media outreach, great prose, great idea, great great great! Art, we met in Buda Pest in '91, and even back then I knew you had it in you to bring such a novel to completion. You are the F Scott Fitz of our generation! Looking forward to next book from Paris. Bon apetit! - Danny Bl.

from Sean
August 13th 2002

One of the most impressive modern novels I have read. I am eagerly anticipating your future work. Thank you.

SteveAugust 13th 2002

A brilliant novel displaying both intellectual range and an elegant command of the form. An exploration of all our cultural baggage, from briefcase to gig bag. Makes palpable the smell, the texture, and the presence of place, history, art, literature, business, and dreams as they intersect with the fundamental questions of civilization under capitalism -- How do we reconcile morality, ethics, and the profit motive? Prague conjures up Belá Bartók in exile with echoes of Woody Shaw's funky "Zoltán." The origins of café society thing was a hoot.

from dunya mccammon
August 13th 2002

Arthur, I met you in Austin, the older half-Hungarian woman who chastened you for beating her to the (publishing)punch! I find PRAGUE an awfully good read, your American characters just as amorphous yet irritating as full-of-themselves young expats have always been, no? I'm enjoying very much the Horvath saga and adore the older singer, even if she will turn out to be some weak imitation of what John thinks soul is--interesting characters and rather than romping through, I'm taking it more slowly. Back to envy: a terrific website! good god! and the reviews, New Yorker and NY Times! who the hell is your agent? You've managed to intimidate my completion, but not my desire to have you spend that $24.95. Best regards, Dunya Katalina Pataki , etc.

from maria slattery
August 12th 2002

Dear Arthur, it was great to hear your news. I'm so happy for you, and proud to have known you! I know you saw Sam (Lisa) and Donna at your reading in Minneapolis; they were suitably impressed and had a great night. I'm looking forward to reading my copy when they send it in the mail. Congratulations and lots of luck.

from David Cates
August 11th 2002

This is a wonderful read. Your style and prose suitably promote the time and place of which you write. I am newly enamoured and enthralled with Eastern Europe. My personal nostalgia for the place pesters me evermore when I read the passages of your novel. Thank You.

from Edina Galla
August 10th 2002

I must say thank your for your book. Not only for a great story, but for opening up that part of the World and years for your readers. I am Hungarian. That fact just doubled my excitement when I found your book. I got the opportunity to see "my world" through an American eyes.

from Warren
August 7th 2002

This is one of the books i have read this summer that really impressed me with its style and substance both. You do a great job capturing the energy of these cities although I have been to Prague and Vienna but not Budapest. I also liked the jazz references. I could live with that as my background music: the night we called it a day. I alos liked the nostalgia guy Mark and could identify with him shaping his own dlongings into a dissertation project. Not the best idea, but many of us have been there. And the brothers, very nice that relationship. I have yet to finish it but thought I would write anyway.

from Gerald
August 6th 2002

Am about 3/4 of the way through--great book. My Mom, a "child of '56," liked it too. I'm sorry for myself that I wasn't able to attend the reading at Wordswith in Cambridge. Arthur, like you I attended Harvard, and I am grateful (and envious) that a son of this institution did such a good and complimen- tary job of writing about Hungary.

from Jack Kellner
August 1st 2002

An enjoyable return to one of my favorite cities. We all have our own perspectives on the place. Mine is much different from yours nevertheless is was good to view it through your eyes.

from Joe
August 1st 2002

The Jeaprody reference in the sleeve copy made me curious. The Harvard education reference was confusing - until I understood it means you had been to many good bookshops and had probably prepared yourself for Budapest by eating too much German food. I'm glad to have read your novel. Like other annoying Americans I've spent too much time with, and allowed to get under my skin, now that they are finally gone, I'm already on the road to missing them. Send them my best. If I may offer you just one bit of advice - try to be a littlle more serioius. Seriously.

from Amy Hall
July 29th 2002

I can see why this is THE BOOK of the summer. I have never read a novel that I feel better captures my generation than this one. Kudos.

from Allison Capen
July 29th 2002

Arthur - It was great to see you. The reading brought back fond memories of your wit and way with words. Now I remember why you were a key componant in my agreeing to go away to long tournaments. I wish we had had more of a chance to catch up. Please write/call when you are next in Seattle - or maybe I'll catch you in the midwest. Congratulations. I can't wait to get started (saving it for an upcoming train ride). Allison

from Eric Wilson
July 29th 2002

After visiting Budapest and Prague (these two cities are some of my favorite on this planet), during the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties, I couldn't wait to lay hands on this novel. What I discovered was much more than a trip of nostalgia--it was a trip of questions, fears, and hopes for the future. My wholehearted applause.

from Dwayne
July 29th 2002

Arthur, I enjoyed meeting you the other night in Denver. I look forward to reading your novel. Best of luck.

from Karen
July 26th 2002

I was just at your reading in Denver and I think I told you I thought you were fabulous and very entertaining...that still holds true and the same goes for your novel!

from Scott Hendrickson
July 25th 2002

After reading this most excellent novel I checked out this site. There I saw that you were doing a reading in Seattle. That took place last night I was glad I attended. It was great to meet you and get to know more about you. Thank you and congratulations.

from Jeff Wechsler
July 24th 2002

I had the pleasure of working with you during your "dismally failed entrepreneur" phase, and always knew there was something big around the corner for you. I'm so happy that your passion has led you to this point. Enjoy the journey. Sincerest congratulations - Jeff

from Luke Anderson (aurora, il)
July 24th 2002

Arthor, i just finnished reading your book tonight. I really enjoyed it and am recomending to my friends (that read). I loved you words on new years "unrecollected resolutions and low resolution recollections." I enjoyed that as well as the the rest of the book.

from Barbara Lieberman
July 22nd 2002

Arthur, I am sorry to have missed you at your NYC appearance. I received a signed copy from our Blake pal Rachel and began immediately.Your novel is beautifully written:moving, funny informative and compelling. Needless to say I devoured it in a few days of vacation. I am so amazed and proud. Well done! Did you have Mrs. Rice for English at Blake? Just wondering...

from Joe Driscoll
July 22nd 2002

Arthur, I sat down with my cup of tea and the Sunday Times, and there you were on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. Congratulations. I looks like you're getting a lot of great press. I missed your reading at Wordsworth, but I'll be sure to pick up a copy of Prague.

from Marisa McKee
July 21st 2002

I attended my first author reading at Harry Schwartz in Milwaukee on Thursday, July 18th, and I thought it was a wonderful experience. I came with a friend, not knowing anything about the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading, but my favorite part of the evening was hearing your explanation of the book's title. You mentioned that many people wish they had a different job, lived somewhere else, or even in a different era. As a result of your explanation, I think that's the best title for a book that I have ever heard. I would've bought the book based on that comment alone, but the reading drew me in as well. I may have commented on this that night, but I noticed how busy you were listening to everyone's comments about Prague the city. (Were my friend and I the only one's listening to what the book was about?) Anyway, I am really looking forward to reading your book. Thank you for introducing me the the wonderful world of author readings! Marisa McKee

from noreen case
July 21st 2002

Arthur - hey - you signed my son! thanks! I forgot to tell you how much i enjoyed the special effects at your reading...the door knocking ... can't wait to read it! noreen

from joan siegel
July 20th 2002

"Prague" is a wondrous book. I started a re-read immediately after finishing it, something I've not done since "Lolita" was published in the 1950s. You're a lucky man to have inherited your dad's wit, your mom's beauty, and both their high IQs.

from emese szilagyi
July 20th 2002

dear Arthur, I'm sitting in my appartment in fo utca and reading Your book. unfuc... believeble. it brings back lots of memories, I'm touched. Congratulations and good luck. love to Tony and Mike if you're still in touch. Emese

from Dave Karr
July 19th 2002

Blade. Dede and I have the book and I have started to read it. What fun! We will see you tonite at the reading. When you finished writing it, was it sort of like finising a four and a half year long jazz tenor solo? That would be longer than the longest Coltrane solo. Isn't that silly? Love from Dave and Dede.

from Carrie
July 18th 2002

Looking forward to the next one...

from edoardo diangelis
July 17th 2002

I caught your presentation in Austin and heard the interview that morning on KUT radio. It was a fifty mile drive into Austin to see you and i can honestly say it was worth it! Good luck with the next one.

from Tanya Munroe
July 17th 2002

I am savoring every paragraph. I lived in Budapest from '92-98 and am laughing my way through the book. Thank you for bringing back so many images and memories of the city I so warmly called home. What a wonderful read.

from pam
July 15th 2002

great writing

from John
July 15th 2002

nice reading

from Fredric Alan Maxwell
July 15th 2002

Dear Arthur Phillips: Kudos. But you call Marly incomparable. Wrong. In my acknowledgements I compare her to ... Hope to see you in San Fran. Best, Fred

from micah nathan
July 15th 2002

Art, First of all, congrats and even more congrats. The marketing of Prague has been inspirational, and the first 40+ pages I read in Brookline Booksmith were excellent (I can't afford the hardcover, okay...not until I get the big check). I've withheld getting back in touch for fear of being lumped in with all the "hey-you're-successful-now-so-let's-hang-out" mendicants, but I figure what the hell. And since I found out about this website now I actually have a way to heap well-deserved praise upon your back. Perhaps a bit late, but sincere nonetheless. Drop me an email if you're curious as to the state of my literary affairs.

from william powers
July 15th 2002

Surprised me with its candor and wit. Nice job.

from Brian Hendricks
July 14th 2002

The city of Prague is one of the loveliest in the world and deserving of more visitors from the relatively ignorant parts of the world. I wish this book all the luck in reaching those who would otherwise not consider making eastern Europe their destination and exploring it. I plan to buy this book and look forward to reading it.

from Kathryn Nielsen Dube
July 14th 2002

I am devouring Prague and savoring each page. I just arrived back in the states after visiting an expatriate cousin in Brno and exploring both Prague and Budapest. Kudos to your writing and its subsequent success.

from Melissa Brown
July 13th 2002

Dear Mr. Phillips, I have yet to read any of your books, but I look forward to picking up this one. Melissa Brown

from Mary Thaler
July 11th 2002

Arthur! This seems so public, but I don't know how to reach you. I'm so excited and happy for you! (I emailed Eliza as soon as I read the New Yorker review.) I'm living in Park City, UT -- received a lovely note from your parents this morning. They must be kvelling; I know Martin would be. Congratulations!

from Richard McCouch,SJ
July 11th 2002

I live on a small set of islands called Chuuk, part of the middle of nowhere, one of the "states" of Micronesia. Our "Prague" might be almost any other island that our students know of, as they wonder about their own futures. Someday a copy of your book will make its way out here, and we'll all talk about it. For now, I'll have to settle for the lavish book reviews, the red-and-black virtual binding on the internet, your photo, and the thin hope that, while the book will not match the hype - I hope - it will be a pleasure to read. Having visited Prague in the early 90's, and wishing that I might have seen Budapest as well, perhaps your book will fill in some of the gaps in my stride. I hope you are enjoying Paris.

from mortnsue
July 10th 2002

Dear Arthur, It is very exciting to hear of your success. We are proud of your acheivements. But we are extremely disappointed that your tour schedule does not include lalaland. One of our concerns is that people think that we can't read in sunny southern California. We can and we intend to buy the book even if we can't attend a book signing. Lotsaluv, mortnsue

from diana phillips
July 9th 2002

of course, we have always known greatness loomed.....i sit here proudly reading all about my little brother (with my friend esame looking over my shoulder, green with envy as she has a book inside her too!) enjoy your tour, see you in august, love diana

from Frederick Hertz
July 8th 2002

Arthur, I'm thrilled to see all the good PR and I look forward to reading the book. I'm vaguely and distantly related to you thru many marriages and I worked for your dad one summer, in 1979, and perhaps you met my friend Esther Vecsey in Budapest (thru Alice, who met her). I live in the SF bay area and i plan to stop by your July 23rd reading here.

from Tom Clark
July 8th 2002

Congratulations, Arthur. I was on a train home from Manhattan, and a passenger wrattled his NY Times. I awoke to see your picture and that glowing review of your novel by Janet Maslin. Next day, I tried to reach you, but they said you moved to Paris! I told everyone I know about your success. Wonderful! Hope to get an autographed copy this week! All my best, Tom

from rachel rubenstein smookler
July 8th 2002

Arthur, I live in upstate Ny and am planning on coming to the NYC signing. Good luck and congrats. Rachel (Rubenstein) Smookler Blake '86

from Ellen (Cambridge Critter Sitter)
July 7th 2002

Congratulations! I just bought the book and can't wait to get started. Say hi to Edgar for me!

from Tony
July 7th 2002

I haven't read the book yet, but I plan to. Sounds really cool. Literary Love, Tony Cherry Bleeds - Life affirming stories by suicidal writers

from Robin Holding
July 7th 2002

Arthur, We've never met, but somewhere in a box of old and treasured letters is a postcard photo your sister Diana sent me many years ago, showing the two of you posing in front of the Pyramids in walk-like-an-Egyptian style. I just saw the ad for "Prague" in the Sunday NY Times, and figured it just "had" to be you! Since it appears you are pointedly avoiding L.A. in your book tour, I guess I'll just have to catch you in Paris in October. Congratulations on your success, and please give my love (and my email address) to Diana. Robin Holding Santa Monica, CA

from Michael
July 7th 2002

It is a great book! Congratulations! Hope you will someday be able to visit Tulsa, Oklahoma...

from Christopher Huvos
July 6th 2002

As a native of Budapest who left in 1956 and returned for a visit in October 1989, a former English teacher, Harvard graduate and inhabitant for one year of Paris, now in my 50's, I am looking forward to a slow and close reading of your book. I am familiar with the streets and cafes you describe and with the psychological themes you explore. More later.

from caroline (former tea shop waitress)
July 3rd 2002

Congratulations, Arthur. Best of luck to you.

from Anna
July 2nd 2002

Tom and I wanted you to know that we bought the book and started reading it before Matt and Diane did. See you at Wordsworth.

from anne and allen
July 1st 2002

aurthur...congratulations on your incredible accomplishment. we are trying to become your most prolific customers by buying as many copies as we can and giving them to friends and family. we are sorry that we will be out of the city during you visit here, but we know you will be well received. continued good fortune on this wild and exciting time in your life. we are very proud. allen and anne

from Kathy Everly
June 30th 2002

Arthur- Is it a bit anticlimatic to say I always knew you had it in you? You were voted most likely to succeed. . .congratulations! I'm sending friends in Chicago, Austin, and Millwaukee to see you, oh, and I bought the book today so must get started. What a treat to read and hear the author's voice, or a younger version of it. So happy for you! p.s. we'll be coming out of the woodwork now. . .the price of fame must be to revisit one's past.

from Andrew
June 29th 2002

I just finished the book and was absolutely charmed by it. I wished it didn't have to end. It is interesting how this book comes out at the same time as the Russian Debutante's Handbook. I read this also and found your book gave me a more thorough understanding and appreciation for that time and place and the complex relationship between a 2nd generation immigrant and his homeland.

from francie paper
June 27th 2002

How wonderful that the reading world now knows what we've all known for years . . . you are fantastic! Congratulations, dear Arthur. Mark and Francie

from Liz (Rasmussen) Hoch
June 26th 2002

I don't know how you got my address, but I got the flyer in the mail yesterday and immediately put the reading at Macalester on my calendar. I ordered the book and am really looking forward to reading it. The reviews are fabulous. Good for you, Arthur.

from michele f
June 26th 2002

I just heard about your book and will push it to the top of my summer reading list. Can't wait to read it.

from Willi R. Scholz
June 26th 2002

As an Austrian I lived in Prague from1992 to 1995 and experienced first hand the mood and spirit of American and British souls seeking a vanished world. I prefer Budapest to Prague.Can't wait to read the book.

from Phebe Hanson
June 26th 2002

Well, Arthur, I well remember the summer you were a baby and Kenwood Ladies Camp lived for a month on Enchanted Island at the former reading camp that next summer Bonnie Raitt and her troup used as the site for their first album, or so I've been told. Anyhow, gazing at your baby face as you lay on a blanket on the beach of Lake Minnetonka, who would have guessed you'd turn out to write the great American novel. I wanted to begin reading over again when I read the last word. It's so beautiful to hold too and I love see it crowding out all the other dowdy novels in our local bookstores. Cheers and love from Phebe

from eszter b.
June 25th 2002

beautiful, entertaining, elegant, the new F. Scott Fitzgerald! I was moved how much Arthur Phillips knows us , Hungarians.

from Jan Browman Barnes
June 25th 2002

Flipping through People magazine while standing at the cooker, stirring macaroni and cheese, I screamed in delight, when my eyes fell upon your hunky photo and must read review. Now I know my summer reading and the brightest star on the literary horizon. Bravo and bisous!

from Curtis Holmes
June 25th 2002

Koszi. Egeszsegunkre!

from Bill Horn
June 25th 2002

We will travel to both Budapest and Prague this year and will have in mind the scenes and places which you so vividly describe. A great work. Loved every page of it. Whem we might see more of your work?

from Bonnie Davidson
June 24th 2002

I just bought your book! Can't wait to start it. Good Luck on your book tour!

from Judit Sarossy
June 24th 2002

I just bought your book today and will be ordering many more copies to pass out to my relatives and friends. I've always wanted to go back and live in Hungary (after moving to the US when I was 13), and through your novel, I'll be able to do it now!

from Judd Herman
June 22nd 2002

Can't wait to read it. I'll tell all my friends to read it also!!!

from Liz Streitz
June 22nd 2002

Looking forward to reading it! Sounds terrific. All the best with your tour. Hope to hear you read in NY or elsewhere. Liz Streitz

from chuck shapiro
June 22nd 2002

Just received my copy,looking forward to reading it. All the best. chuck shapiro (patron of the arts)

from Cheryl Thompson
June 21st 2002

You wrote MY book! I lived in Budapest 92-94 and kept a journal from which I have been trying to write a memoir. When you named your novel Prague, I knew YOU knew what it was really all about.

from January Marx Knoop
June 21st 2002

Your mother and I were classmates at Vassar, before you were even a glimmer; now you are a star. If you'd put Cincinnati on your tour I'd get a crowd of screaming groupies to come, cheer, and buy while you sign.

from Tony Flynn
June 20th 2002

My Lord. I spent 2 years in the daily presence of a brilliant, warm colleague and now I find out that he may be the next great American novelist. Bravo Arthur!

from Ann Phillips
June 20th 2002

I've always thought you were wonderful! Love,Mom

from M. Kelso
June 20th 2002

I am a new fan, but a huge one. Please keep me updated as I would love to see more of your work/here what you are up to. Thanks.

from Lisa Goren/Max
June 19th 2002

Max is not old enough to read it but we're buying him an extra copy for the future! See you in July - Congratulations! Lisa (employee of dismally failed entrepreneur)

from BostonReader
June 19th 2002

Our book club of 20 somethings is looking forward to reading this for the summer. I just picked up my copy. Much buzz about it.

from Daniel F. Melia
June 18th 2002

I'll buy one in SF if you'll sign it! Best from a Jeopardy! ghost. --dan melia I'll also buy you a drink!

from Tracy Galloway
June 18th 2002

Well done, Mr. Phillips -- congratulations!

June 18th 2002

We are awaiting delivery of your Book and are looking forward to reading it. Your Mom & Dad were selling the book 15 years ago. It took you a long time to write it. Best of luck from all of us. Pat Conroy liked it so it must be great. Sorry your tour doesn't include L.A. Fondly Lynne & Art

from Sandy Okinow
June 17th 2002

Congratulations..I am very proud of your cousin Sandy

from Mike Antosia
June 13th 2002

I read the novel in one day. The best fictional debut since The Twenty-Seventh City. Congratulations, Mr. Phillips. You've written a great book.