I’ve said a thousand times that I always wanted to write just one book. Now, with Baron, I can close this story. With this novel I can prove that I really wrote just one book in my life. This is the book–Satantango, Melancholy, War and War, and Baron. This is my one book.

László Krasznahorkai (The Paris Review Interview)


At last, the capstone to Krasznahorkai’s four-part masterwork

Included in the Two Barons and a King  bundle Get the bundle
Included in the Available Titles catalog

Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming

Fiction by László Krasznahorkai

Translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet

Set in contemporary times, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming tells the story of a Prince Myshkin–like figure, Baron Béla Wenckheim, who returns at the end of his life to his provincial Hungarian hometown. Having escaped from his many casino debts in Buenos Aires, where he was living in exile, he longs to be reunited with his high-school sweetheart Marika. Confusions abound, and what follows is an endless storm of gossip, con men, and local politicians, vividly evoking the small town’s alternately drab and absurd existence. All along, the Professor–a world-famous natural scientist who studies mosses and inhabits a bizarre Zen-like shack in a desolate area outside of town—offers long rants and disquisitions on his attempts to immunize himself from thought. Spectacular actions are staged as death and the abyss loom over the unsuspecting townfolk.

Buy Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming

Clothbound(published Sep, 24 2019)

Price US
Trim Size
5 x 8"
Page Count



I’ve said a thousand times that I always wanted to write just one book. Now, with Baron, I can close this story. With this novel I can prove that I really wrote just one book in my life. This is the book–Satantango, Melancholy, War and War, and Baron. This is my one book.

László Krasznahorkai (The Paris Review Interview)

Krasznahorkai constantly pushes beyond the expected, escalating everything to the brink of deliriousness.

Idra Novey, The New York Times Book Review

Krasznahorkai’s novels are less grim than grimoire – books of magic spells that, by their invocation, conjure worlds. It is a turn of great fortune to be alive and to have these novels that are filled to the brim with strange life.

Ian Maxton, Spectrum Culture

A masterpiece, the culminating work of the extraordinary Hungarian writer’s career. The alternation of narrative darkness and radiant syntactical beauty makes this my personal favorite of the year.

Michael Silverblatt, KCRW "Best of 2019"

Krasznahorkai is a pungent delineator of character, and the landscape of his imaginary city is peopled with figures as busy and distinctive as those of a painting by Bruegel. While the novel energetically pursues Krasznahorkai’s habitual themes – disorder, spiritual drought, the impossibility of meaning in the absence of God – it does so in a tone that glitters with comic detail.

Jane Shilling, The New Statesman

In Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming the Hungarian maestro Krasznahorkai is on peerless form. Twinkling with dark wit, his dizzyingly torrential sentences (heroically translated by Ottilie Mulzet) forever bait us with the promise of resolution. It’s hard to think of anything comparable to the crazed abundance on show here; as a portrait of epistemological derangement – AKA fake news – it hits the mark as well as any more hidebound attempt to catch the zeitgeist.

Anthony Cummins, The Observer

With an immense cast and wide-ranging erudition, this novel, the culmination of a Hungarian master’s career, offers a sweeping view of a contemporary moment that seems deprived of meaning.

The New Yorker

Krasznahorkai’s headlong comedy of obsession and wonderful squalor set in small-town Hungary. Majestic.

New York Times Book Review

Krasznahorkai’s world falls apart along manmade fault lines. Fascinating.

Paul J. Griffiths, Commonweal

A master of peripatetic, never-ending sentences that brim over with vacillations, qualifications, and false epiphanies.

Will Harrison, Hudson Review
A literary heir to Kafka, Beckett, and Dostoyevsky: Krasznahorkai’s genius has been his ability to absorb the tectonic changes of politics and culture into his singular style. His challenge of despair is applicable under any economic system. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is his latest, longest, strangest, and possibly greatest novel—suffused with nihilism, but deeply funny. The absurd is more absurd, the incomprehensible more incomprehensible than ever. And yet, though it has its confrontations with despair and nihilism, Wenckheim is the funniest of Krasznahorkai’s novels.
The Baffler

Krasznahorkai’s fictions emit a recognizably entropic music. His novels—equal parts artful attenuation and digressive deluge—suggest a Beckettian impulse overwhelmed by obsessive proclivities. The epic length of a Krasznahorkai sentence slowly erodes its own reality, clause by scouring clause, until at last it releases the terrible darkness harbored at its core. Baron Wenkcheim’s Homecoming is a fitting capstone to Krasznahorkai’s tetralogy, one of the supreme achievements of contemporary literature.

Paris Review Daily

László Krasznahorkai’s masterpiece—a manic Greek chorus that infuses festive Technicolor into his multifaceted, bleak vision. Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming calls into question our acceptance of the crippling status quo, delivering universal truths in a way that few books can anymore. It is precisely the novel we need in these difficult, foreboding times. His funniest and most profound book and, quite possibly, also his most accessible.

The Millions

Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is masterly work set in the tragic, ridiculous pandemonium of a village far from Budapest, teetering on the brink of disaster—a novel that both breaks new ground and looks back to Krasznahorkai’s earliest work. It is also said to be his last.

J. W. McCormack, Publishers Weekly

This vortex of a novel compares neatly with Dostoevsky and shows Krasznahorkai at the absolute summit of his decades-long project. Apocalyptic, visionary, and mad, it flies off the page and stays lodged intractably wherever it lands.

Publishers Weekly

If you’re a fan of Krasznahorkai, you already know that you need to read this one: the final volume in his four-part series, in which the aging Baron Bela Wenckheim proceeds home to Hungary, to the highly absurd town of his birth.

Emily Temple, LitHub

The baron cuts a memorable figure, but the real star of Krasznahorkai’s story is a philosopher who has cut himself off from society and lives in hermitage in a forest park, concerned with problems of being and nonbeing. In the end, the worlds the philosopher, the baron, and other characters inhabit are slated to disappear in a wall of flame.

Kirkus Reviews

Is this a funeral march? If so, it is the craziest one to have ever been composed. Astounding.

Die Zeit

The Hungarian master of the apocalypse.

Susan Sontag

A vision of painstaking beauty.


His work tends to get passed around like rare currency. One of the most profoundly unsettling experiences I have had as a reader.

James Wood, The New Yorker

One of the most mysterious artists now at work.

Colm Tóibín

The universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision rivals that of Gogol’s Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing.

W. G. Sebald

Hungarian maestro László Krasznahorkai is laconic and shrewd, as practical as he is existential, capable of wresting huge laughs as well as immense profundity from the commonplace and the way in which we choose to respond to it.

Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

László Krasznahorkai is a visionary writer of extraordinary intensity and vocal range who captures the texture of present-day existence in scenes that are terrifying, strange, appallingly comic, and often shatteringly beautiful.

Marina Warner, Announcing the Man Booker International Prize

The sentences are gloriously funny, intricate, moving, absurd, funny again, and they trip along like rain and lightening and a rattling train, and they start and stop and deviate in ways that I find enthralling...I’m speed-crawling through it on my hands and knees like a happy infant, giggling and farting my way through the subclauses and the spirals and the damp Hungarian undergrowth. I don’t want it to end. It is of course entirely about Hungary, and Hungarian people and Hungarian things. But Hungarian things are the things of the world. There may as well be no place other than Hungary.

Keith Ridgway, Lunate

Krasznahorkai’s interminable sentences flood the characters in their personal voids.

Mandy-Suzanne Wong, Electric Literature