Fresh out of an unsatisfying relationship with a younger woman John Martin, New York advertising executive, is suddenly possessed by a strange and irresistible desire to cross the globe to Budapest and strike up a new friendship with his ex-wife, with whom he hasn't spoken in years.
Plunged into the mysterious world of Budapest just after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, he falls in love with a waitress while also inadvertently reawakening and expanding intimacy with his ex-wife. He quickly becomes the apex of two conflicting love triangles, but his repeated trips to Budapest only deepen the confusion and sense of longing set off by a series of dreams and random events that he mistakenly takes as his emotional guide, ultimately revealing the absurdity of his quest, which was doomed to fail from the outset.
The Forest is a sumptuous and captivating novel, rich in psychological insights and depth of linguistic expression. Death in Venice for Generation X meets Richard Ford’s Women with Men.
One customer reviewer said of The Forest: “The psychology is flawless...all actions and conclusions are born out of the protagonist contemplating the apparently meaningless events in the outside world; he is driven by the impetus of vividly described moments that give the story's psychology an almost Zen feeling. Through the psychological authenticity of the protagonists's thoughts and emotions, I became so much involved with the story that once I got used to the relatively slow pace, I couldn't put the book down and finished it in two long reads.”
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There are too many tiny descriptive details that do nothing to enhance the story. The plot is vague and the ending disappoints. I found myself skimming through the story just to get to the end.