NCL 41 – Under the Ribs of Death by John Marlyn


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Under the Ribs of Death by John Marlyn (New Canadian Library N41)

Series One

From the Back Cover:

This haunting, perceptive story of a Hungarian boy lost between the customs of his parents and those of the Canada to which he passionately desires to belong is both a moving appeal for tolerance and a vivid re-creation of the dreams which live in the heart of an imaginative child as he grows to manhood. [John Marlyn]


Under the Ribs of Death by John Marlyn (New Canadian Library N41)

Series Two

From the Back Cover:

This richly human story is both a powerful appeal for tolerance and an incisive study of the causes and effects of alienation. Sandor Hunyadi’s fierce battle for “success” in Canada is portrayed with uncompromising honesty. The conflict between his fierce ambition and the philosophic ideals of his father is beautifully delineated, as are the contrasts between the struggling society of immigrant Hungarians and the prosperous English-speaking world to which Sandor yearns to belong. John Marlyn’s sense of life and his feeling for character and colour make this a moving and unforgettable book.


Under the Ribs of Death by John Marlyn (New Canadian Library N41)Series Three

From the Back Cover:

John Marlyn has contributed a novel of understanding and insight to our literature.” – Montreal Gazette

Under the Ribs of Death is the powerful story of Sandor Hunyadi, the son of Hungarian immigrants struggling to make a life in Winnipeg in the twenties. Sandor has glimpsed a world of stately homes and rolling lawns where the prosperous English-speaking people live, a world far removed from the “howling chaos” of the North End neighbourhood. And he is fiercely determined to become part of that world, regardless of the price he must pay.

Suffused with warmth, humour, and a wealth of colourful characters, this richly human story is a classic study of the alienation as aspiration of Canadian immigrants. Displaying a remarkable literary talent, John Marlyn has created a moving and deeply satisfying work.


Under the Ribs of Death by John Marlyn (New Canadian Library) front coverSeries Four

From the Back Cover:

Set in the Immigrant Community of Winnipeg’s North End, UNDER THE RIBS OF DEATH follows the progress of young Sandor Hunyadi as he struggles to cast off his Hungarian background and become a “real Canadian.” Embittered by poverty and social humiliation, Sandor rejects his father’s impractical idealism and devotes himself single-mindedly to becoming a successful businessman. Equipped with a new name and a hardened heart, he is close to realizing his ambition when fortune’s wheel takes an unexpected – and possibly redemptive – turn.

Combining social realism and moral parable, UNDER THE RIBS OF DEATH is John Marlyn’s ironic portrayal of the immigrant experience in the years leading up to the Great Depression. As a commentary on the problems of cultural assimilation, this novel is as relevant today as it was when first published in 1957.


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