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Parallel Stories, By Peter Nadas, trans. Imre Goldstein

Although critics in the author's native Hungary have hailed Parallel Stories as a 21st-century War and Peace, English readers are sure to be more sceptical. At 1130 densely-packed pages, it certainly has the heft of Tolstoy's masterpiece, but there the similarities end. Whereas Tolstoy created a gallery of richly drawn characters caught in the sweep of history, Peter Nadas creates a series of elusive consciousnesses floundering in the whirligig of time.

Are there any requests from the floor?

Tonight's Prom will feature music chosen by the audience on the spot. Its conductor, Ivá* Fischer, tells Jessica Duchen about an invigorating leap into the unknown

'Budapest Bullet' on target for Temple test

Hungary may not be exactly a hotbed of thoroughbred racing; indeed, there is only one significant track in a country with a population of 10 million. The place has, though, made three significant contributions to the sport. The first was the 1876 Derby winner Kisber; the second, the extraordinary mare Kincsem, holder of the world unbeaten record of 54 races, a sequence that included the 1878 Goodwood Cup.

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