Reviews

  • At a dark moment of identity politics and resurgent nationalism, the books that have left the deepest impression have been those that offer a sense of what we might learn from times past. Nothing I have read is more affecting than Mihail Sebastian's magnificent, haunting 1934 novel, For Two Thousand Years (trans Philip Ó Ceallaigh), now available in English

    Philippe Sands, Guardian Books of the Year
  • Remarkably pertinent to our time and place. . . What's chilling about For Two Thousand Years, in this sensitive translation by Philip O Ceallaigh, is how its oppressive atmosphere foreshadows the rise of Romanian authoritarianism and the destruction of Romanian Jewry, even though it was published before the fascists came to power. . . I can't help thinking that Mihail Sebastian is sending us a message across the generations

    New York Times Review of Books
  • The best novel of the year was written in 1934. Mihail Sebastian's For Two Thousand Years, an account of interwar Bucharest by a nameless Jewish student, took a human lifespan to find an English translation

    Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
  • It wonderfully captures the sense of pre-war Romania in all its sophistication, its beauty and its horror... I love Sebastian's courage, his lightness and his wit

    John Banville, Open Book, Radio 4
  • An elegant and candid and horrifyingly understated account of watching violent unreason rise around you

    Ben Lerner, Paris Review
  • Mordant, meditative, knotty, provocative... More than a fascinating historical document, it is a coherent and persuasive novel... Penguin should be applauded for finally bringing this book to an anglophone audience. Philip Ó Ceallaigh's translation is highly convincing and sweeps us along with its protagonist's emotional shifts

    Toby Lichtig, Financial Times
  • Eerily prophetic... a brilliant translation of a most unusual novel. For Two Thousand Years is a book of truths

    Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
  • One of the most unusual, seductive and beautiful books I've read in years. It has lightness of touch coupled with astonishing range... Like any classic of a type we've not seen before, it is a book which needs to be read and re-read and which, over years, will become a reliable friend for life

    John Self, Jewish Quarterly
  • For Two Thousand Years is lucid, melancholy and playful - a fictional memoir recreating the night-life and love affairs, friendships and betrayals of a world that was falling apart

    John Gray, author of The Soul of the Marionette
  • Philip Ó Ceallaigh's meticulous and vibrant translation restores to us the wry, bitterly intelligent, endlessly self-castigating yet dauntingly perceptive and prophetic voice of Mihail Sebastian. For Two Thousand Years is a masterful book charged with the tension and paranoia that preceded one of the bloodiest convulsions in the history of the 20th century, and the terrifying thing is, it could have been written yesterday, today, tomorrow

    Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins