The Parasite  


The Parasite
Hungarian List | May 15, 2020 | 384 pages
ISBN: 9780857427403

Marked by powerful and evocative prose, Ferenc BarnĂ¡s's novel tells the fascinating story of a young man's journey through his strange obsessions towards possible recovery. The unnamed narrator is the parasite, feeding off others' ailments, but he is also a host who attracts people with the most peculiar manias. He confesses, almost amiably, his decadent attraction as a young adolescent to illnesses and hospitals. The real descent into his private, hallucinatory hell begins after his first sexual encounter; he becomes a compulsive masturbator, and then a compulsive fornicator. But to his horror, he realizes that casual sex is not casual at all for him--each one-night stand results in insane jealousy: he imagines previous lovers hovering over him every time he makes love to a woman. When he gets to know a woman referred to as L., he thinks his demons may have finally subsided. But when he hears of her past, the jealousy returns. He seeks relief through writing--by weaving an imagined tale of L.'s amorous adventures. What will he do with this strange manuscript, and can it bring him healing? A breathtaking blend of Dostoevskian visions, episodes of madness, and intellectual fervor, all delivered in precise, lucid prose, The Parasite is a novel that one cannot escape.