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Last Waltz in Vienna

1 rating: 3.0
A book by George Clare

'A beautiful book: a fascinating piece of history... a work of art' Beryl Bainbridge; 'A work of literary genius' Michael Burleigh; 'A deeply moving book. I felt enriched and grateful after reading it' John le Carre; 'Told with calm and dignity. I shall … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: George Clare
Genre: History
Publisher: Macmillan UK
1 review about Last Waltz in Vienna

A century of a Jewish family until the shoah

  • Feb 19, 2005
Rating:
+3
This well-written, incisive, and even-handed telling of the author's Klaar family in Austria, 1842-1942, is a fine way to find out about how many Jews entered into the middle classes out of the shetl and worked their way up into the military and civilian ranks. The end of the narrative, when the author becomes a protagonist as he does in the opening pages, really captured my interest much more.

I wish Clare had taken more time with his own gripping story rather than so much focus on his predecessors, but this undoubtably is out of humility and respect for his forebears. I cannot tell if the book was written in German and then translated by the same author or if Clare only wrote the German original and the original publisher (Macmillan in London) anonymously translated it into fluid, forceful, and thoughtful English. Perhaps a minor point given the impact of the climax of the tale he tells of his kindred, but I commend him for the effort he put into his work, in the telling and the style both.

Also recommended: Charles Fenyvesi's account of how he excavated the roots and found the branches still flourishing of his Hungarian Jewish ancestors over the past 300 years, "When the World Was Whole."

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