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The Salzburg Tales

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3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Christina Stead's The Salzburg Tales is a unique collection of short stories which in its scope, richness of fantasy and range of characters compares with The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales and other works in that older tradition which the author has described as a "treasury of story".
Paperback, Virago Modern Classics, 498 pages
Published December 28th 1986 by Virago Press Ltd (first published 1934)
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Jonathan
Oct 02, 2015 Jonathan rated it really liked it
"When I say that Miss Christina Stead’s Salzburg Tales are far better than the Decameron, I intend nothing but disrespect to Boccaccio, the prince of bores…. Miss Stead impales literary butterflies on the needles of malicious paragraphs, weaves medieval legends that sound as if you had looked in upon them years ago through the dim pages of the Gesta Romana, relates funny stories about goldfish that predict the fluctuations of the stock market, and tricks venerable jokes out until they become tin ...more
PattyMacDotComma
No rating (didn't finish)

It's worth reading some of this if only to learn how powerful an author's character description can be - superb!

I cannot fault the writing. It's just very long, and I couldn’t get involved enough with any of the wonderful characters or the stories they had to tell. I gather this is written in the style of The Canterbury Tales, another work which has never captured my imagination, although I am generally fond of short stories.

Because I read only the first part of this,
...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Salzburg, old princely and archiepiscopal city, and its fortress Hohen-Salzburg, lie among the mountains of the Tyrol, in Salzburg Province, in Austria.’

A chance meeting at the Salzburg Festival, brings together a group of strangers. They have some time on their hands, and decide to tell each other stories. So, over seven days, the members of this group take turns in sharing tales of fantasy and legend, tragedies, parodies and jokes. A more modern rendition of Bocaccio’s ‘Decameron’ or Chaucer’
...more
Katie
Sep 20, 2011 Katie rated it did not like it
The Salzburg Tales is a 1930′s take on Chaucer’s famous Canterbury Tales, following the same pattern of a group of strangers meeting (in this case they are all attending the opera at the Salzburg Festival) and deciding to tell stories to pass the time. A 1930′s take on The Canterbury Tales? What’s not to love? Well, quite a bit if I’m honest.

For a start, Stead’s characters are nowhere near as diverse and interesting as Chaucer’s are, and I think that’s partly due to the set up of her frame narra
...more
Tracey
Feb 20, 2016 Tracey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Christina Stead is finally and thankfully going through a revival as new readers are introduced to her works. Australia seems to have a habit of not celebrating its female authors and it is wonderful to see this renewed focus.
Stead in my humble opinion is one of Australia’s greatest authors and having read this novel just seals the deal for me.
A group of strangers have a chance meeting at the Salzburg Festival and over seven days they tell stories. The tales involve tragedy, humour, fantasy an
...more
Velvetink
bargain = 1 of 29 books for $5.
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Christina Stead (1902–1983) was an Australian writer regarded as one of the twentieth century’s master novelists. Stead spent most of her writing life in Europe and the United States, and her varied residences acted as the settings for a number of her novels. She is best known for The Man Who Loved Children (1940), which was praised by author Jonathan Franzen as a “crazy, gorgeous family novel” an ...more
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