- Tapa blanda: 640 páginas
- Editor: Little, Brown (10 de julio de 2012)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1408703793
- ISBN-13: 978-1408703793
Night Falls On The City: The Lost Masterpiece of Wartime Vienna (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 10 jul 2012
Descripción del producto
A pleasure to read . . . a compellingly intimate portrait of Vienna from the Anschluss to the end of the Second World War, which captures its atmosphere of fear, mistrust, corruption and ultimate collapse. There are no heroics; instead Sarah Gainham offers a scrupulously detailed story of individuals forced through barbarism into chaos. (Helen Dunmore, bestselling author of The Siege and The Betrayal)
Brilliant and moving. (Simon Mawer, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Glass Room)
A rare novel of beauty and scope and ambition ... without doubt Gainham's masterpiece (Kate Mosse, bestselling author of Labyrinth)
Reseña del editor
Vienna, 1938. Beautiful actress Julia Homburg and her politician husband Franz Wedeker embody all the enlightened brilliance of their native city. But Wedeker is Jewish, and just across the border the tanks of the Nazi Reich are primed for the Anschluss.
When the SS invades and disappearances become routine, Franz must be concealed. With daring ingenuity, Julia conjures a hiding place. In the shadow of oppression, a clear conscience is a luxury few can afford, and Julia finds she must strike a series of hateful bargains with the new order if she and her husband are to survive.
A highly acclaimed bestseller when first published in the 1960s, Night Falls on the City is a true lost classic, and an unforgettable portrait of wartime.Ver Descripción del producto
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Central to this underlying theme is the incredible suffering of Jews during World War II, at the hands of the Nazis, the Austrians, the French, the Poles, the Russians, pick a nationality of your choice.
A Tunisian acquaintance once asked me if I believed in the Holocaust. My initial answer was trite “What’s not to believe?” Then he said “But 6 million dead?” I opined I would probably be more comfortable with 5, 978,612 since I’ve always been a bit leery of round numbers. Then I added “What difference does it make? 500,000, 2,000,000, 4,000,000, 6,000,000? It is not the numbers that are important, it is the fact. If you don’t like the numbers, make up your own, but you cannot reasonably deny the fact that it happened. In so many villages, towns, farms, cities, countries – there is just no room for denial.
Each of these books – novels, I admit – goes to the very heart of this and to read even one should be sufficient to erase any doubt.
And no, before you ask, I’m not Jewish. I would even admit that, from time to time I tire of reading about it. And yet I realize full well that the story must be told over and over lest we forget. I only regret there has been no such outcry and continuing reminders about Cambodia in the 1970’s.
Be careful; this book, and all the others mentioned, are worth reading. But don’t read them in a short time span. I have found myself becoming too complacent about the subject matter. Space them out so that the message continues to reverberate over years and not just months. And realize that you will never understand what Israel is all about and what it means in today’s world until you have done so.
The story is so tense but also very realistic and you feel a part of the scene; Historically,it was fascinating to be within the city of Vienna and see it and its population slowly crumble under the pressure of change.
There was a feeling of a play within a play by using a theatre company as the central characters.
I do not often want to read a book again but this one I will because there are so many nuances,easily missed at a first reading
This is an exceptionally well-researched book about the Nazi annexation of Austria that drives home the real horror and inhumanity of this era. It is a story of great suffering and the compromises that people are forced to make in such terrible circumstances when they are pitted against each other by a regime that relies on fear and paranoia for its survival. It's hard to believe that Hitler was greeted with cheering crowds when he first crossed the border despite the fact that the Nazi's were crushing all opposition, arresting thousands and establishing a police state. It stands as a timely reminder of the futility of attempting to compromise with fascists.
The story centers around celebrated actress Julia Homburg who must hide her Jewish, socialist husband Franz when his attempt to leave Vienna fails. The book follows her efforts to keep him safe in their apartment while the city goes to pieces around them. Julia is a well-drawn character but Franz basically just fades into the background as Julia goes on with her life outside without him. From the moment he returns to the apartment after leaping from a train to escape the SS, he is a changed man, frightened and vulnerable, and this weakness is reinforced through his physical deterioration. Julia's love for him changes too and she loses all physical desire for him and takes another lover.
This was the weakest part of the story for me because I couldn't understand why Franz was portrayed in this way. Just because he was physically isolated from the world, I couldn't accept that he would so quickly lose his vitality and strength, or that his thoughts and conversations with Julia would not even be worth including, especially considering his political background. The other issue I had with the book was its length. Although I appreciate how detailed it is, it was a struggle to get to the end and I never quite managed to get all of the different characters straight.
I'm giving it four stars because despite its flaws I believe it is one of the best novels about WWII ever written, providing an almost visceral experience at times of what it was like to be caught in the madness of war-time Vienna.