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The Detour

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  360 ratings  ·  107 reviews
Ernst Vogler is twenty-six years old in 1938 when he is sent to Rome by his employer—the Third Reich's Sonderprojekte, which is collecting the great art of Europe and bringing it to Germany for the Führer. Vogler is to collect a famous Classical Roman marble statue, The Discus Thrower, and get it to the German border, where it will be turned over to Gestapo custody. It is ...more
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Soho Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I will use an analogy from cinema for describing this book : it reads like an indie movie with a low budget, but with good actors and a smart script. Being a bit arthouse / Sundance Festival material can be a major advantage if that is what the reader expects / likes. Instead of flashy explosions, high speed chases and slick special effects, the story is focused on the intimate, the close focus, gaining in credibility, and making it easier to relate to the main characters.

The Detour is exp
Kerrie  Loyd
Oct 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I think this is almost a perfect book. It has much to say about the relationships between fathers and sons and brothers, as well as the nature of beauty and perfection. And the pre-WWII Italian countryside setting was beautiful and perfectly captured. I loved it.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a gem of a novel and while i expected to like it, I really did not expect to be blown away by it and to be honest the first 50 pages or so while good do not reveal how just superb the novel becomes once the narrator starts his Italian trek with two dubious twin brothers and a highly prized classical statue in the back of a truck.

I will have a full rv soon so few points only:

- I quite liked The Spanish Bow but I thought the whole weaker than the sum of its parts as the author seemed to h
Jeanette (Again)
Made it through 72 pages. Dry and not believable. Didn't feel authentic. Her voice as Ernst is not plausible, and how did the brothers, Enzo and Cosimo just happen to speak German? ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, own, vine
I love the history of art and its fate during WWII, and this is just one example of Hitler’s fanaticism for acquiring the most choice pieces. Here the object of his desire is the classic Roman Discus Thrower, and Ernst Volger is sent to Italy to obtain it for his fuhrer. From the moment he steps on Italian soil, Volger’s mission is hindered by circumstance, misunderstandings and more sinister motives. He is escorted by two dubious Italian brothers, the stoic Cosimo and the brash Enzo. What shoul ...more
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, net-galley
Ernst Vogler is a courier sent by the German government to escort a famous sculpture from Italy to Germany. He begins his journey in a truck and has 3 days to make it to the border. It's a slow, tedious journey and Vogler does quite a bit of thinking on the way. People start dying and then somehow there is a quick romance at the end.

This book began and continued at a very slow pace for me. There was so much of Vogler's internal dialogue that I found to be uninteresting. His journey in the truck
This novel is a good and well paced story. It's a character study. It's an historical novel, covering a niche in a larger, broader. deadly epic. It's a look at the pre-war cultures of Italy and Germany, two countries bound by their leaders but not their people.

Ernest Vogler might have been an Olympic athlete but for a medical problem. While his problem is slowly revealed, it, and almost everything that flowed from it, demonstrates how the Nazi philosophy infused daily life at this time in German
KJ Grow
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story, atmospheric and elegently told. Set in 1938, a young German man is sent on a mission on behalf of the Third Reich to transport the famous "Discus Thrower" statue from Italy, which the Fuhrer has purchased to add to his growing collection of classical art. The German is escorted by two Italian brothers - twins with very different temperaments and agendas, and as soon as they set out for their destination, the project is quickly derailed, with detours of every sort through the I ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it

I found this to be a very pleasurable novel to read. Sometimes you learn a lot not by being hit over the head with big events, but more by little details woven within a story that help you get a feeling for that time of the past. Small personal realities.

WWII - Hitler's attempt to gather magnificent artworks for The Third Reich's House of German Art. A detour in Italy while obtaining one of these acquisitions - The Discus Thrower - develops into a beautiful story of family, love, loss, and
Aug 19, 2012 rated it really liked it

Andromeda Romano-Lax is worthy of being much more widely known. In other words, she would be loved, feted, and sought after if she were promoted more. But she is not published by one of the big houses and she doesn't write about vampires or sado-masochistic love affairs. Soho Press is fairly small in today's publishing scheme of things. For what it is worth, I am here to tell you that she is truly a great writer.

The Detour is her second novel, following the wonderful Spanish Bow. Again it is his
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads

I requested The Detour from the Solid Gold Reviewers Program at Audiobook Jukebox. I have a small obsession with anything set during World War II. I feel like I’ve been living in that era a lot recently since I only finished City of Women a few weeks ago. It wasn’t too bad this time though because this book is actually set in Italy, not Germany, so the war seems removed.

Ernst Vogler, who carries the burdens of both self-conciousness and some majo
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews, arc
I know I took a long time to finish this but I did. Without further ado, here's my not-perfectly-done review / thoughts:

I find that the beginning was a bit slow and confusing - I just couldn't see the pictures - although it does get better as the story progresses. There were so many details and flowery sentences. The contents are mostly, if not all, of Vogler's thoughts and actions. We saw what Vogler saw, did, thought and felt. He was real. I felt his emotions; despair, confusion, anger and so
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Huether
Dec 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel, first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anita Dix-McLaughlin
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good, unusual premise for a Pre-WW2 story. I enjoyed it.
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interrupted art heist in Italy’s pre-WW2 countryside has side romantic story with unexpected long term consequences. My favorite parts: “ wary of replacements. It is in wanting to replace, to reach out for false hope or false comfort, [that we can] stumble so dangerously. Sometimes, we must simply accept an absence in our lives.” And “[Love] is beautiful and unexpected . . . an undeserved gift . . . but we can always hope for more than we deserve.”
Becky Durstenfeld
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good book, well written with interesting characters. The detour ended up being different than I expected. I didn't like the deaths, which were very sad. I was happy with the ending of the story. The part about his physical "defect" was a bit strange, but it greatly impacted the character's relationship with his father and contributed to the person he became, as did the experiences he had on the detour. ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Fascinating story, really compelling history.

Completely horrible pacing. I get that if they are your world and characters you get to bend time to magnify the story, but the pacing in this book just didn't work for me at all. I liked that the characters were not completely likeable and pretty flawed, I thought the story of Nazi art acquisition made for a pretty compelling historical backdrop.
Mar 03, 2021 rated it liked it
Set at the beginning of World War II, Ernst is tasked with returning to Germany with an ancient Italian statue, the discus thrower. From the beginning, nothing goes right. He ends up changing his mind about some ideas, falling in love, and out of sync with his country.
Rob Kitchin
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Detour recounts the tale of Ernst Vogler, a budding art historian who worked on the Third Reich’s Sonderprojekte, collecting great art for the Fuhrer before the Second World War. It is told as recollection as Vogler arrives back in Italy in 1948 to track down the woman he fell in love with on his last visit, a decade previously. On that trip, Vogler was sent to Rome to accompany the famous statue, The Discus Thrower, back to Germany. He is accompanied on his journey to the border by twin bro ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abria Mattina
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Abria by: NetGalley
Shelves: review-2012, arc
Soho Press kindly allowed me to read an advanced copy of The Detour via netgalley.

It’s fitting that The Detour will be released on St. Valentine’s Day. That said, the romance aspect of The Detour really surprised me because I expected it to be more of a police thriller after reading the jacket copy. Ernst Vogler, a young art curator from Munich, is sent to Italy and charged with the task of bringing The Discus Thrower, recently acquired from Rome, back to Germany for inclusion in Hitler’s art co
Victoria Fredrick
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel; I thought the main character was well-realized, the language understated and elegant, and the story interesting and unique enough that it kept me reading.

Set in Germany / Italy just before WWII really gets started but when Hitler is perhaps at the height of his power, the protagonist of this story is a rather ineffectual 24-year-old art appraiser, who has been tasked with supervising the transport of the Roman statue The Discus Thrower to Munich, as part of Hitler’s
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Brief Summary:
Ernst Vogler worked for the Nazi Party. He was responsible for helping the country acquire great works of art. He stumbled into this job through happenstance, a misunderstanding of his actions years before. Still, he loved art, which helped him forget the pain in his past. His main goal was to avoid notice, to do his work, and to not question. In 1938, he was sent to Italy on a simple mission: to pick up and return with The Discus Thrower, which Germany purchased from Italy. Of cou
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ernst Volger is sent to Rome to collect a famous statue, The Discus Thrower, and get it to the German border where it will be sent to Germany for the Fuhrer. Ernst realises the importance of this job and is determined to do it well, but from the very beginning things go wrong. He ends up on a detour with two Italian twin brothers, Cosimo and Enzo, that will change is life forever.

I was really impressed by this book from the very beginning, it is really well written. There were many times I found
Rebecca Graf
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
he Detour by Andromeda Romano-Lax

A story set in pre-World War II Italy, The Detour is a story of a German man sent to Italy to retrieve the marble statue of the discus thrower. But it is more than a story of art, war, or ethnicity. Andromeda Romano-Lax brings a story of the soul.
Ernst Volger has one job to do. He is to go to Rome and bring the coveted statue to Hitler. Nothing seems to go right, and too much doesn't feel right. Volger finds himself in a truck with two young Italians and a crate
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In 1938, young Ernst Vogler, a failed athlete who has been assigned to the Fuhrer's Sonderprojekt, finds himself assigned to travel to Italy to retrieve a famous sculpture – none other than the well-known The Discus Thrower! He has seen first hand how those who oppose Hitler disappear from plain sight without a trace. He cannot refuse the order, yet he cannot understand how he can possibly fulfill this mission to smuggle one of the greatest works in art history into Berlin!

Ernst sets about his
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I saw the cover of this book (a freebie from a Goodreads Giveaway), I wasn't sure it would be one I'd be interested in. Truthfully, when I was going away for the weekend, I packed this book along with another because I figured I'd quit on this one quickly and need the second one. With all that in mind, I found myself reading the entire book in an evening! Let's just say this book was way better than the cover suggested--and I gave it credit for at first glance.

The Detour by Andromeda Romano-Lax opens with Ernst Vogler
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
It's 1948 in the hills of Italy when we come across Ernst Vogler enjoying an autumnal walk in the country. He's retracing his steps from 1938 when he was a minor official in the Reich's Sonderprokt, an effort by Hitler to collect art works from around Europe that reflect the ideals of the new Germany. Vogler was sent to collect a Roman copy of the "Discus Thrower" from Rome and convey it to it's new owner. This being Italy however, nothing is as straightforward as it seems.

Ernst was sent in plac
Ronald Roseborough
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Detour is at times very moving, reaching into your heart and soul to touch areas that are not often revealed. It shows us one man's quest for perfection and acceptance in his life, while comparing this to Nazi Germany's zeal to procure the world's greatest art treasures for the private pleasure of it's leaders. It also shows us our failures to reach out to others in times of trouble and the possible rewards of opening ourselves to others even in the darkest hours. In 1938, Ernst Vogler is a ...more
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Andromeda Romano-Lax worked as a freelance journalist and travel writer before turning to fiction. Her first novel, The Spanish Bow, was translated into eleven languages and was chosen as a New York Times Editors’ Choice, BookSense pick, and one of Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year. Among her nonfiction works are a dozen travel and natural history guidebooks to the public lands of Alaska, f ...more

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