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3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Für ihren ersten Roman hat sich die Journalistin Eva Menasse einen sehr vertrauten Stoff ausgesucht: die Geschichte ihrer eigenen Familie über drei Generationen hinweg. Dass Vienna auf so viel öffentliches Interesse stößt, liegt erst einmal daran, dass die Menasses, besonders in Österreich, einen Namen haben -- der Vater ein ehemaliger Fußballnationalspieler, der Bruder d...more
Paperback, 427 pages
Published 2007 by btb (first published January 1st 2005)
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Inhaltlich eine hervorragende österreichisch-halbjüdische Familiengeschichte, voll von Anekdoten in der Güte einer Tante Jolesch, einer Klaviatur an Schuldgefühlen, Streitlust, Geschichte... Die Krux an diesem Roman ist aber, dass es eben eine halbjüdische Geschichte ist und die Figuren damit umgehen müssen, dass sie neben Holocaustopfern und Vertriebenen auch Tschechen, Arier und sogar Nazis in der entfernteren buckligen Verwandtschaft haben, was der Geschichte eine zusätzliche sehr explosive W...more
The rating I have to give this book is just sad. Because the writing in general is good, the stories are sometimes quite interesting and would be worth telling. And because I love Vienna so much, and its character really comes through in this book.

Still, I would advise you not to read it, based on three main points.
One, there is no structure. This just rambles on and meanders here and there, without any guideline for the reader. That may be interesting if you belong to the family; for an outsid...more
This book, the saga of a half Jewish family's experiences across the decades in Vienna, is frustrating. Menasse makes a number of decisions which seem designed to annoy. Perhaps the plot must be nonlinear because that is how personal recollection works, and maybe the stories are all about petty arguments because no one can bear to discuss the real tragedies, but what is the point of refusing to name three quarters of the characters (it's always my father this and the little Englishwoman that)? S...more
I found this book oddly disappointing. Pinning its failings to clumsy translation or bland storytelling is difficult. Claims of the book's dispensation of linear narrative really seem to be more of an awareness of awkward structure. I didn't feel that this impacted positively in any real fashion, nor did it pique my interest about future-past events. Tracing familial structure also seemed more difficult than need be. Yes, there was some charm in the portrayal of a constructionist past of a famil...more
The story line was good - the plot itself was original in that it was a different take on how the Jews were treated during WWII - or rather, how this particular family experienced it. The writing style was so difficult for me to get used to. I do believe it was translated word for word from the German rather than in any sort of sentence structure that makes sense to a reader. Fortunately, because I've read other books like this in my college classes, I was used to it ... didn't mean I liked it t...more
Eine Wiener Familiengeschichte über vier Generationen, zwischen Judentum, Christentum und Areligiösität; zwischen Anpassung und Aufmüpfigkeit, mit Verwicklungen in die Geschichte, (insbesondere des Nationalsozialismus), unvergesslichen Familienanekdoten und Traurigkeit.
Nicht spektakulär, aber lesenswert, und in vielen Punkten sehr wienerisch,
I don't really remember what happened in this book as I read it a few years ago. All I remember is that I was confused for the most part and I didn't enjoy the non-linear narrative. Also, I wasn't invested in the characters' lives at all. Maybe I'll get around to reading it again some day, but I doubt it.
I regret (maybe) that I did not finish this book, but at 400 pages and with others to read, it didn't happen. Maybe later. I did like it - a quick-paced story with amusing characters, I'd recommend it to those who are interested in quirky family dynamics.
David Ramirer
gutes buch, gut erzählt. es hat zwar ein paar auswucherungen die nicht in die gesamtkomposition passen, aber der gesamteindruck bleibt dennoch ganz großartig und portraitiert eine ganz spezifische zeit in wien.
Yes, despite the English title, it's in German. But if it gets translated, it's well worth the read. Check out titles by her dad, too, Robert.
Hard to follow and I didn't really get into some of the stories until the very end of the book.
Terrible. I couldn't finish this. Just awful.
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