Extraordinary Renditions

Extraordinary Renditions

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
In a trio of linked stories set in Budapest, three expatriates--a world-renowned composer, a U.S. Army soldier, and an aspiring musician--struggle to make their way in an increasingly complex world.

Perseus Publishing
Music, war, and imperial ambition touch three lives in this intricately woven story.

Set in Budapest—a city marked by its rich cultural heritage, the scars of empire, the fresher wounds of industry, and the collateral damage of globalism—Extraordinary Renditions is the sweeping story of three equally tarnished expatriates. World-renowned composer and Holocaust survivor Lajos Harkályi has returned to Hungary to debut his final opera and share his mother's parting gift, the melody from a lullaby she sang as he was forced to leave his Hungarian home for the infamous Czech concentration camp Terezín. Private First Class Jonathan "Brutus" Gibson is being blackmailed by his commanding officer at the US Army base in Hungary, one of the infamous black-sites of the global War on Terror, and he must decide between going AWOL or risking his life to make an illegal firearms deal in Budapest. Aspiring musician Melanie Scholes is preparing for the most important performance of her career as a violinist in Harkályi's opera, but before she takes the stage she must extricate herself from a failing relationship and the inertia that threatens to consume her future. As their lives converge on Independence Day, they too will seek liberation—from the anguish of the Holocaust, the chains of blackmail, and the bonds of conformity.

A formidable new voice in American fiction, Ervin tackles the big themes of war, prejudice, and art, lyrically examining the reverberations of unrest in today's central Europe, the United States' legacy abroad, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Publisher: Minneapolis [Minn.] : Coffee House Press, c2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781566892469
Characteristics: 183 p. ; 23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 01, 2016

learn more about Budapest than you probably ever wanted to. But the coffee and the classical music venues must be great. The story? Pretty good - but depressing.

achristinej Mar 02, 2011

Thank you Mr. Ervin. I was drawn to this book for the cast of characters and had expected a slight, perhaps lacking Hungarian backdrop. Wrong I was. While the lives you so artfully created were riveting in their description, dialogue and interactions, the scenes you constructed brought me directly back to Budapest.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to live in Hungary and visit this heart-wrenching city many times and your work has managed to capture it all. Gritty, romantic, brooding and moody; you had me walking down the same streets, experiencing the paths, and feeling the weight Budapest carries.

As the setting took over the storyline for me I realized how each one of your characters echoed the characteristics of the city and how they were shaped by it as much as they were reflecting it. I truly enjoyed each page of your book and look forward to reading more.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RCPL

To Top