Review: I Was Jack Mortimer – Alexander Lernet-Holenia

A new book from Pushkin Press is always welcome and in I Was Jack Mortimer, they have found a gem of a novel, written in 1933 but as fresh as anything written today. The book, a mixture of farce, murder mystery and character study is set in Vienna.

The book’s author Alexander Lernet-Holenia had an […]

Review: Beware of Pity – Stefan Zweig

It is 70 years since Stefan Zweig committed suicide with his wife in Rio de Janeiro and while he died despairing of the future of Europe and it’s culture, the ongoing popularity of Zweig’s books suggests that perhaps the future was not as bleak as he supposed. This month, Pushkin Press are publishing four Zweig […]

Review: Pull Yourself Together – Thomas Glavinic

Thomas Glavinic is a young Austrian writer who has won various awards and scholarships in his home country. Pull Yourself Together is the third of his books to be translated into English. Its a sort of coming-of-age novel about Austrian teenager Charlie Colustrum, an over-weight boy with bad skin who lives with his alcoholic […]

Review: Young Gerber – Friedrich Torberg

Young Gerber is a very welcome English translation of a novel by Austrian writer Freidrich Torberg (1908-1979). It is a substantial book of 350 pages or so but concerns a relatively small period of time and focuses on just one event, the matura, or graduation exam which all grammar school students must pass before they […]

Review: The Snows of Yesteryear – Gregor Von Rezzori

Note: This is an updated version of an earlier post. I suspect this new edition of a work by Gregor Von Rezzori is going to be the first of many. For background information on the author, please see my post, Gregor Von Rezzor – an appreciation

I am very pleased that Penguin books are soon […]

Review: The Orient Express – Gregor von Rezzori

The The Orient Express, was the last novel to be written by Gregor von Rezzori. It was published in 1992, six years before his death, and it allows his un-named narrator to reflect on his life’s journey as a wealthy business man, well into the last era of his life, as he travels the world […]

Review: Oedipus at Stalingrad – Gregor von Rezzori

I have recently discovered the books of Gregor von Rezzori (1914-1988) and feel that I have stumbled upon a layer of gold down in the deeper mines of 20th century literature. Its just surprising that at this point in time that publishers of such authors as Stefan Zweig, Thomas Mann, Gunther Grass etc, aren’t falling […]

Review: Memoirs of an Anti-Semite – Gregor von Rezzori

I came to read Gregor Von Rezzori through reading an article, Chronicle of Loss, by John de Falbe in Slightly Foxed magazine no. 15. As a book reviewer, it is easy to concentrate on new books to the exclusion of many excellent novels which are fast-fading from public gaze. Who for example reads Somerset Maugham, […]

Review: Chess – Stefan Zweig

Ever since reading Stefan Zweig’s longest novel, Beware of Pity, I tend to pounce on any book I find by this early 20th century Austrian author. Chess is what may be called a “slim volume”, being only 73 pages long, but readers of Zweig will be used to slim volumes – for with such a […]

Review: The Post Office Girl – Stefan Zweig

Many thanks to Sort Of Books for publishing yet another posthumous work by Stefan Zweig – even if as in the case of The Post Office Girl, Zweig’s intentions for the book were somewhat unclear. In an Afterword, the the essayist and literary critic, William Deresiewicz, points out that Zweig “nibbled away at the Post […]