Saturday 17 April 2021

Book Review: The Enchanted Night by Miklós Bánffy (Short Stories/Modern Classics)

Title: The Enchanted Night
Author: Miklós Bánffy
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Publication Date: 25 May 2021
eBook -PDF
Genre: Short Stories / Modern Classics
Source: ARC via NetGalley

In this stark, haunting collection, Miklós Bánffy narrates with wry wisdom stories of cunning, betrayal and myth ranging from classical antiquity to the Transylvania of his own day. These are communities of sharp rivalries and religious superstition: young Borbálka, about to marry an unsuitable man, receives strange counsel from a suspicious figure in her village; four men seek to exploit the captive Gavrila Lung for money, while mountain wolves howl in the distance; when Old Damaskin betrays his stepson to hold on to his land, his wife extracts bizarre revenge.

Translated into English for the first time by the award-winning Len Rix, this collection further establishes Bánffy as one of the foremost European writers of the twentieth century.


The Enchanted Night was an interesting and mostly enjoyable collection of tales. Bánffy is often described as the Romanian Tolstoy, but, to be honest, I didn't really see that from these pieces; although, a single short story collection is perhaps not the best gauge. The stories varied in quality, a few I really enjoyed, otherwise were okay, but a few also fell a little short of the mark. It is a very eclectic mix in terms of both theme and setting, but that does allow each of them to fell like individual pieces and not just a repetition of the last. If you are a fan of short stories and/or early 20th century European literature, this book is worth checking out. I would be interested to read some of Bánffy's longer works in the future, to see how I feel about those. And I always appreciate the chance to sample of the works of different authors who may not have been translated into or read much in English before. Overall, I am giving this book 3.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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