Sanctuary of the Guilty

Sanctuary of the Guilty

The Sanctuary of the Guilty topped the Best Seller’s list in Europe. This book overtook Bridget Jones’s Diary by H. Fielding, The Lord Of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien and Imre Kertesz’s novel Fatelessness  which won a Nobel Prize. The Sanctuary of the Guilty was so successful that pirated versions of the book were circulated widely in Hungary.


It received the following review from Miklos Jancso (awarded Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for his work on Red Psalm):

“Laszlo Malota you honoured me with a copy of your novel. I read this novel three times. I like it. I like it because of its irony. I like the author’s courage, his incredible bravery. Are you aware of the importance of it? Do you know that you have stirred up a hornest’s nest? It involves persecution, anger. Perhaps involving stakes or not. Or maybe, all things considered, there could also be an auto-da-fe. A truly great film could be made from it. That would cause a huge scandal. It would be an incredible world scandal.”


It received the following review from David Paul Kirkpatrick (Former President of the Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Motion Picture Group):

„Laszlo Malota has written a breathtaking book, Sanctuary of the Guilty that everyone should read for such a book will change perspectives. I hope that one day, we will not only read it but see it as a movie. In the right hands, I am sure the movie would be fantastic.”


Few samples from the Sanctuary of the Guilty:

“All the nuns, each of them holding a candle, started pacing around the crucifix. By the mystical, quivering light of the candles, I finally caught a glimpse of my nun’s face, who so eagerly wanted to break the sixth commandment through our fall into sin. Her face was pleasant and childlike. The faster and deeper we immersed ourselves in each other, the more her face bloomed. As she plunged ever more ferociously beneath the waves of lust rising out of her uncontrollable passion, her face transformed and became more and more like a fairy’s bedecked with rose petals and dewdrops. By the time she finished and fell on top of me, barely conscious, holding her blazing face against mine, the nuns had already stopped their aimless meandering outside. The way they repeatedly passed by us during their procession made it seem as if they were trying to lavish offerings upon Jesus, maybe to bring salvation to sinful souls. Perhaps they inadvertently helped to bring about our salvation as well.”

“I lay shivering on the floor, curled up in a ball. The feeling of helplessness was unbearable. I didn’t understand what was happening to me or why. My head was swimming, rendering me incapable of clear thought, so I couldn’t come up with a solution to this horrible predicament. I wanted to think about Esther in these trying hours, but I couldn’t even do that. I lay dejected in one of the seminary’s hidden cellars, lonely and isolated from the rest of the world. For the very first time in my life, I thought of death as a possible way out.”

“The old woman led us to a poorly furnished vestibule with worn plaster walls. The sound of a terrifying death rattle came from the adjacent room. I was so shaken by fear that I could feel my legs turn to jelly, and I was unable to move. A funny smell wafted through the air, and I knew right away that it was the smell of death.”

“I almost stumbled as I stepped into the dark and fetid room. The shutters had been pulled down. I couldn’t bring myself to even think about it, but against my own will, I turned to where the old man lay dying. A towel had been placed under his head–a white towel with roses on it.”

“As I looked at the descending casket that contained the earthly remains of my former fellow seminarian and prisoner, I remembered Erasmus with pity. Despite being a dedicated student, he became the victim of his bitter love affair.”

“I stood up and left so that the old nun could spend her last few lifeless hours in peace before she is finally put to her eternal rest underground. A bell struck midnight somewhere in the distance. I mingled with the praying crowd, and in my mirth I decided to lie myself down among them. Although the stone was cold, I didn’t get up for a while. Someone nearby started sobbing loudly, so I bent over and kissed her face. My reward was a single teardrop, which trickled playfully down my neck. The air was filled with reverence. I soon fell asleep for a short while. Incense descended upon me like a thick fog.”