Our own Morgan Meis in Slate:
“One can't urinate with an erect prick.” This is a true statement, and one that is not often brought to light in serious works of literature. To Péter Nádas, though, it's a central insight. In his latest, epic novel, observations about pricks, pudenda, asses, mouths, and other orifices abound. The book is called Parallel Stories and it treats of all the monumental things that have happened in Central Europe from World War II until not so long ago. The impressive scope of the novel has led some breathless commentators to proclaim the novel a 21st-century War and Peace.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. You, after all, have never really heard of Péter Nádas. He is not exactly a household name in Bohemia, as of yet. Be careful though. It is getting less and less respectable not to know about Nádas. Susan Sontag proclaimed his previous novel A Book of Memories, “the greatest novel written in our time, and one of the great books of the century.” Granted, Sontag always had a soft spot for Hungarians, but one ignores that kind of effusiveness at one's own intellectual peril.