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The Swedish Cavalier
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The Swedish Cavalier

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Die Welt ist aus den Fugen in diesem historisch-fantastischen Roman: Der Krieg zwischen August dem Starken und Karl XII. von Schweden hat Schlesien um 1700 im Würgegriff. Regimenter durchziehen das Land und üben erbarmungslose Lynchjustiz. Die Bauern, aber auch Banden von Räubern und Vagabunden kämpfen ums nackte Überleben. Ein christlicher Bischof bietet den Verfolgten le ...more
Published by Arcade Publishing (first published 1936)
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Il tema del furto d'identità secondo canoni magico-realistici mitteleuropei. Ben diverso dal Maelstrom di Cien años de soledad, ma ugualmente irresistibile in senso etimologico.
Passione fredda eppur pulsante che contrasta il cinismo e il vuoto del Talented Mr Ripley, celeberrimo ladro di vite.

letteratura fantastica mitteleuropea, dicono i più. A me non pare. E' un'opera che, a buon diritto, rifiuta qualsivoglia etichetta. Qui il tragico e il sublime s'intrecciano con il comico.
Forse P
The book blurb reads: Mathematician and writer, Leopold Perutz (1882-1957) could have remained known only for the algebraic equation which is named after him, if Borges hadn't rediscovered his books, bringing to the public attention the eleven novels that Perutz wrote in the interwar period.
He was named a picaresque Kafka and his works were admired by writers like Borges, Italo Calvino, Ian Fleming and Graham Greene, but nowadays his novels seem to be more popular in Europe than in the US.

pierlapo  quimby
Storia d'altri tempi, con personaggi d'altri tempi e prosa d'altri tempi.
Bei tempi gli altri tempi.
Apparently forgotten in the US, Perutz, who was admired by great writers like Borges or Greene, remains quite popular in Europe. This short novel (The Swedish Cavalier in English) is a fascinating and strange tale which uses the myths of folklore to explore the human condition. It is a historical adventure story that could also have inspired Dumas (at some point one thinks of Monte Cristo), as well as a legend where ghosts, incantations, angels and supernatural conditions mix darkly. Written in ...more
Leo Perutz scatters small scale mysterious happenings and improbable acts of daring across the earthy and ethical background of this set piece on fate, judgment and redemption. Along with the exquisitely circular plot and the interwoven, parallel protagonists, this makes “The Swedish Cavalier” seem like a long ago entrant to the European canon of hijinx-meets-morality—tale from the horseback ages. A Robin Hood-like distaste for unscrupulous authority pervades this scrum of friars, brigands, veng ...more
Paula Goodman
Sep 14, 2007 Paula Goodman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: booksiloved
I first heard of Leo Perutz when I wandered into a bookstore in Germany, and wanted something not too difficult to decipher -- the lovely bookstore lady put "Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke" into my hands -- it had just then come out in paperback with a bright yellow jacket -- she explained he was a Jewish author born in Prague who had been banned during the Nazizeit, and was now being republished and coming back to popularity.

I read it on the long train ride to Munich from Berlin -- despite
Philippe Malzieu
Perutz, it is the least known of the authors mittel-europa. This is not the least interesting. This is his most known book. It's a variation on the topic of identity. That makes me think of Kagemusha (the shades of the warrior) the film of Kurosawa. a criminal is used as lining a wounded chief. He identify with him and behaves with more nobility than him. In the book it is a robber who takes the identitity of a noble Swedish and marry his fiancé.
The country is devastated, the massacres follow o
My Inner Shelf
Je découvre le relativement méconnu Leo Perutz avec ce roman. Écrit en 1936, ce roman d'aventures et de cape et d'épées nous entraîne en Silésie au début du XVIIIème siècle. Deux compagnons d'infortune, réunis par un concours de circonstances assez flou, vont ensemble changer le cours de leurs destins. Christian Von Tornefeld, jeune noble déserteur qui cherche à regagner l'armée du roi de Suède, et Piège-à-poule, voleur de son état, se retrouvent acculés dans un vieux moulin dans lequel ils trou ...more
Vittorio Ducoli
Un dramma esistenziale nascosto in un racconto (quasi) fantasy

Un racconto perfetto, talmente bello che l'autore si permette il lusso di svelarci il finale sin dalle prime pagine. Ammantandolo di un'atmosfera quasi fantasy, Perutz ci narra di sentimenti umanissimi, di amore, tradimento dell'amicizia, sopruso e disperazione. Il protagonista è forse una delle più belle figure della letteratura moderna: ladro, capace di crimini efferati, di "vendere" il compagno per raggiungere i suoi scopi, ma capa
A breathlessly entertaining historical novel, with uncanny moments and a melancholy (but beautiful) end. It's true that I could tell from the beginning what the entire plot was going to be, but that's not a bad thing, it's just that all the pieces fit together so that they're inevitable. The ingredients, from the switched identities to the otherworldly encounters, are old-fashioned in the best way; it's like hearing a good old song in a lovely new arrangement. The main character, the nameless th ...more
Jean-paul Audouy
The circular plot will make you want re-read this short novel as soon as you finish it. Mysterious and very human, a singular treasure to be (re)discovered.
German Edition - German Review:

Irgendwie konnte mich Der schwedische Reiter nicht so überzeugen wie die meisten anderen Romane von Perutz. Ich weiß nicht, woran es liegt, die Ingredienzien sind schließlich mehr oder weniger die gleichen inklusive des historischen Sprachklangs. Vielleicht war's mir zuwenig phantastisch (ein bisschen ist es das natürlich schon).
One of the very first books that I read in German (in 1967) - an exciting story, that I've re-read approximately every 10 years! (& now available in English, I believe, as The Swedish Cavalier).

August 2011: I just finished re-reading this for the n-th time. I could appreciate better than before what a _perfect_ story this is, & I've moved it to my best-ever shelf.
5 stelle secche, senza se e senza ma.
Ho cercato di non correre nella lettura per gustarmi la scrittura di Perutz: frasi ricche, da ripetersi a mezza voce per la pienezza che danno. Una storia interessante, dove il soprannaturale non è il fulcro della vicenda, ma l'uomo, con le sue virtù e le sue debolezze. Imperdibile :)
A tale of deceptions and imposture, wherein characters and Fate play a cruel game of musical chairs. Well written, filled with irony and elegance.
Tom Alaerts
I read this during a recent business trip. What a discovery! Entertaining and tragic. I'll check out more Perutz books soon.
Großartig. Toll erzählt, tolle Geschichte. Eine tolle Ausgrabung!
One of my favorites
Recommended by Sue
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