A linguist flying to a conference in Helsinki has landed in a strange city where he can't understand a word anyone says. As one claustrophobic day follows another, he wonders why no one has found him yet, whether his wife has given him up for dead, and how he'll get by in this society that looks so familiar, yet is so strange. In a vision of hell, unlike any previously imagined, Budai must learn to survive in a world where words and meaning are unconnected. This is a suspenseful and haunting Hungarian classic.
Ferenc Karinthy was born in Budapest in 1921. He obtained a PhD in linguistics, and went on to be a translator and editor, as well as an award-winning novelist, playwright, journalist and water polo champion. He wrote over a dozen novels. This is the first novel to be translated into English.