(Critiques at the time of publication)

Shadows on the Wall is a broad-spectrum investigation of some of the most important conditions of modern man and his society. It is not only broad but also deep—an excellent piece of art: intelligent with a great talent for psychological understanding and characterization, a richly colored language and sharp, often very witty reflections.” Lars Gyllensten, Sweden, distinguished novelist and cultural critic, member of the Nobel Prize Committee for Literature.
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“I was moved by Shadows on the Wall. The characters often speak like characters in Dostoyevsky ... or in Lawrence ... or in Ruskin, prophetically denouncing a civilization as it expresses itself in its architecture. The voices of the novel are not the small voices of contemporary fiction.... What impresses me most about the book is its seriousness and sincerity, rare virtues in fiction these days.” Eugene Goodheart, USA, author of Pieces of Resistance, The Utopian Vision of D. H. Lawrence, etc.
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Shadows on the Wall is an immensely ambitious, admirably urgent novel. I respect the author’s effort to put serious philosophical discussion back into the novel. At this point of time, it is hardly an easy thing to try to bring back Mann and Dostoyevsky. There are many resonant things in the philosophical interrogation of the book. I was also struck by some of Zsuffa’s evocation of place which are quite fine.... I think Zsuffa is undertaking something important, and I hope he will do more.” Robert Alter, USA, author of After the Tradition, Motives for Fiction, The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age, Necessary Angels, etc.
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“Zsuffa’s novel mandates serious effort, serious thought, serious confrontation insofar as it relates to our present-day existence and dilemmas. In this respect, Shadows on the Wall brings to mind Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point, though Zsuffa’s work has a more redemptive quality.... Our contemporary American affliction is at the symbolic center of Zsuffa’s book. And he does not sentimentalize or romanticize the gravity of this affliction. That takes courage of vision, the novelist’s equivalent of the critic’s courage of judgment. And that, for me, is a moral and metaphysical courage from which too many American writers retreat or which they refuse to recognize.... The novel is rich in its human meaning and understanding of human struggle in its many and various offshoots—its shadows, so to speak. It has both historical and moral perspective, compassion, insight; and it has, above all, universality and redeeming hints of transcendence.” George A. Panichas, USA, author of The Reverent Discipline, The Courage of Judgment, The Burden of Vision, etc.
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“I found reading Shadows on the Wall an absorbing experience.... It is evident that the author is writing in a Continental European tradition rather than an Anglo-American one, in his attempt at a dramatic novel of ideas. Peter is the kind of sensitive, exploratory man who I suppose began with Goethe.... I can see the allegiance in Zsuffa’s work to Thomas Mann, in the way that characters enact ideas and in the discussion of intellectual issues. I was also reminded of Dostoyevsky, particularly in the tormented character of David.... Impressive, original, full-blooded, Shadows on the Wall is a distinct contrast to the general run of recent fiction.” Bernard Bergonzi, England, author of The Situation of the Novel, The Myth of Modernism and Twentieth Century Literature, etc.
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Shadows on the Wall is both a pleasurable and highly interesting reading.... Zsuffa has mapped out in very precise segments prominent political, social, and cultural dimensions which have both distinguished and plagued our century. Especially his telescoping the plight of Polish Jewry into the luxury living of Southern California is an extraordinary feat. I have never come across anything like it.” Wolfgang Iser, Germany, author of The Implied Reader, Languages of the Unsayable, etc.
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“I have very much enjoyed Shadows on the Wall. It is a fine job and the author develops his discourses of good and evil, of philosophical speculation with great care and thought. I found myself thoroughly involved in it.... Zsuffa is also very good in describing places and people—they come alive.... I liked, too, all the dialogue about architecture—in fact, Zsuffa’s whole sense of the Renaissance gives depth to the novel’s fundamental idea.... The genesis of Zsuffa’s fiction is compassion.” James Gindin, USA, author of Postwar British Fiction, Harvest of a Quiet Eye: The Novel of Compassion, etc.