On his way home from Istanbul, ghostwriter Jose Costa's plane is forced to land in Budapest, where becomes fascinated by Kriska, a Hungarian language teacher, until he learns that his wife in Brazil has disappeared.
Blackwell North Amer
Jose Costa is a ghostwriter - and not the kind who appears in all the magazines with models at his side. He knows he is fated to remain in the shadows of his illustrious clients - judges, politicians, the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro - and that writing another's life will always feel like "having an affair with somebody else's wife," but he takes his craft seriously. His best work is framed in his office overlooking the Copacabana Beach. But something is nagging Mr. Costa. While having a beer one day, he decides to buy a ticket to Budapest.
In the city by the Danube, he falls in love with "the only tongue the devil respects" - and with a strangely enchanting woman named Kriska. After insisting that one does not learn the Magyar language from books, Kriska offers to teach him in a much more intimate way. First, though, he must observe the old proverb - "there is no life outside Hungary" - and abandon his thoughts of samba, sunbathers on Ipanema, Sugarloaf Mountain, and his wife in Rio; and turn himself over to a strange, hallucinogenic world of pumpkin rolls, late-night discos in old Buda, and endless bottles of Trojak wine. And of course, always Kriska, the willful seductress and disciplinarian who is as hard to fathom and tame as the language she speaks.
But what will become of Jose, now Zsoze, when his time in Budapest comes to an end and life as he knows it is turned upside down?
On his way home from the Anonymous Writers Congress in Istanbul when technical problems force his plane to land in Budapest, Brazilian ghostwriter Jose Costa becomes fascinated by the Hungarian language and by Kriska, a language teacher, but he soon discovers that he has troubles at home in Rio, including the disappearance of his wife.
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