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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.”

My Little Late Love


Laszlo Malota’s first, semi-autobiographical novel, Sanctuary of the Guilty, had an undeniable impact on the literary scene and topped the bestseller list for a long time. He has earned the title of one of the most read Hungarian authors with his gripping, exciting, enthralling, subtle — and for this reason more powerful — and occasionally seemingly playful style of writing. My Little Late Love is a unique collection of short stories which reveal the multifaceted talents of the author.

This collection holds some of Laszlo Malota’s deepest secrets about first love, various disappointments, troubled lives, feelings of complete despair, and suicide. He takes great care to write about all the tragedies, which he himself had to struggle with. These stories work to remedy painful memories and help alleviate the depressions brought on by a difficult life.


The Ungodly



“I’m not afraid of persecution, ostracism, and I face those who threaten me. I’m not driven by vengeance, but the truth must be revealed. It’s not my goal to offend anyone’s beliefs. I admit that we have a need for belief, so we can live in a humane way in these troubled times. My first book, Sanctuary of the Guilty, was based on my personal experiences of life in a seminary. Unfounded accusations, slander, and threats have come crashing down on me because of it. This book is my answer to them. If someone fights against something, he shouldn’t put up his hands in defeat at midway. The opinions of faithful, godfearing people can be found in this collection of reportage. They say, in their own words, why they have lost their faith in Catholic priests. They tell tales of lies, hypocrisy, clerical romances, abuse of church authority, and informers. Those who hear confession, yet they themselves should seek absolution from both God and man alike.“

Laszlo Malota


“They tore off my black, holy clothes. I heard but no longer understood the word of God.

I’d been outcast to the dim world of the night. I was among whores, pimps, and criminals, and I’d become a fugitive.

I found a place to live while working as bouncer at a nightclub. I also met a woman who put me in harms way and changed my life and passionately lead me to my destiny.

For some strange reason, even though I was a seminarian, I found comfort with a prostitute. And while I fought tirelessly for her freedom, I had to realize that it was she who was saving me.

But to no avail. Where crime swells, mercy floods.”

Laszlo Malota

The Women in My Life

The Women in My Life is a unique confession about certain things that no one has dared write about in such an open and straightforward way before. The book is enthralling and heartwarming for teenagers and adults alike. Secrets are unlocked in this book that will no doubt be of interest to tens of thousands of people, who use a certain internet dating site.

The Flavor of Blood

“This book is an endless thrill. It frightens, shocks, and appals. The spine-chilling story is full of twists and turns, surprises, and scares. It’s naturalistic, and occasionally terrifying, repulsive descriptions, allow us a glimpse inside the minds, thoughts, and souls of serial killers. We see them mindlessly rape, humiliate, torture, mutilate and kill. And thought this world remains distant from the average person, we can not close our eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist because it is this innocent naïveté that allows people to fall victim to these monsters. With the knowledge gleaned from this glimpse into the world of serial killers, we can protect ourselves against those who live among us, murdering mercilessly.“

Leslie L. Lawrence

What I Shouldn’t Talk About

“The hall was empty; there wasn’t a soul in sight. Then I heard a strange sound like some animal whining in the distance. Most likely it was a cat or rat because that was the sort of dormitory I was in. It came from one the rooms in the back. But by then the sound had changed in something completely different. I stood behind one of the closed doors, from where I could hear the whining sound better. It was more frightening and terrifying than the sound like a scream tearing through the night. That would only last for a short while, whereas this sound was a continuous cry of pain and suffering. Holding my breath and carefully moving, I turned the door handle. There’s something about him that’s keeping me from getting closer. As if he had leprosy, his touch and even his immediate vicinity was infectious.“

Innocent Angels

“I was nine years old when I had to go through that which every parent wants to protect their children from. The memory of that day will haunt me forever. The wound it left on my soul can never fully heal. Since I know what I had to go through that afternoon, I want to help by suggesting people read this book, so  other children won’t have to survive similar tragedies.”

András Vári


The spread of the internet has put young children at the mercy of sick, perverted individuals who use their seeming anonymity to abuse and manipulate them.


Nights of Hope

“I consider Laszlo Malota to be the most talented contemporary Hungarian author. His original, ornate, and literate style grabs hold of us, whirls us, yet at the same time calms us. I found Nights of Hope to be the most moving of his nine books.

Iván Bagi

“I wholeheartedly want to express my gratitude for Alone on the Bridge. The narrative deals with an expertly chosen topic. I read it with great interest and joy. The protagonist’s characterization is perfect. I applaud this short story.”

György Faludy

Joys of Days Gone By

Laszlo Malota captures the tragic circumstances of the interesting lives of lost family members with frightening authenticity. And he can sees the shadows of the dead who bear endless reminders of a past that can only be revived in our memories.

His return was motivated by the deathly illness of an old love, the same person who caused him to leave, who wanted to see the writer one last time to impart her shocking and emotionally charged secret.

Not just the wondrous scenery of the buried past, the gardens which remind him of his childhood, and the memories of playgrounds plague the author, but also the feelings beginning to bloom in him again, feelings he tried to escape from by going to Rome, but that he never could get rid of.

This is the tenth book by one of the best known Hungarian authors. It’s a shockingly honest confession. It’s an attempt to rebuild the past, the memory of which is equally joyous and unbearably sad. And unimaginably dangerous.