It is May 1918, war is sweeping Europe, and a group of boys await graduation in their near-deserted town. Drawn close by an unspoken fear of leaving home to fight, they retreat into a clandestine world of codes, hideaways and fierce invention - until one day a stranger enters their lives and their secret is exposed. From the great Hungarian author of "Embers", "The Rebels" is the story of a final, precious summer: a haunting novel of youthful exuberance burning in the face of irrevocable change. 'Great qualities of deep, cynical realism combined with a wild, sometimes surrealistic sense of beauty' - "Sunday Times". 'Elegant, languid and almost subversive. To read it is an experience that leaves one fully alert' - "Irish Times". 'Delicate brilliance ...perfect and unforgettable detail, like a landscape in the last moments before darkness falls' - "Literary Review". First published in Hungary 1030; this translation 2007.
"A darkly comic, war-ravaged coming-of-age tale that displays much of the genius visible in his later works, but [is] also funnier and more extravagantly imaginative." --"The New Yorker"
"The emotional power of the story is that of a simple, straightforward narrative . . . followed by stunning revelation." --"The Boston Globe"
"A morbidly comic novel . . . marked by passages of bleak elegiac grandeur." --"The New York Sun"