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Good Living Street: Portrait of a Patron Family, Vienna 1900
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Good Living Street: Portrait of a Patron Family, Vienna 1900

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  121 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Vienna and its Secessionist movement at the turn of the last century is the focus of this extraordinary social portrait told through an eminent Viennese family, headed by Hermine and Moriz Gallia, who were among the great patrons of early-twentieth-century Viennese culture at its peak.
Good Living Street takes us from the Gallias’ middle-class prosperity in the provinces o
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Pantheon (first published 2011)
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Jan 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Family history might be fun to research and interesting for the family, but please spare the rest of us from the tedium. It read very much like a project report (author telling us where he cleverly sourced information that led to the conclusion), interspersed with factual accounts of culture and place (mostly well known stuff presented in unengaging manner), and a few vignettes of family story. Long, dull and tedious.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-worthwhile
I read the entire book but couldn't wait to finish it. Perhaps it would have been better if somebody else wrote it. Dull, plodding and deadening prose.
Dilly Dalley
Good Living Street was a story of persecution, privilege, dislocation, survival and grief - but ultimately about identity, art and belonging. "Who do I belong to?" seemed to resonate through the pages. "Where do I belong?" "What are my memories?" "What are the stories I tell the world?" And the trauma of it all - the suffering that ricocheted across the world, down through the ages, through the lives of Tim Bonyhady's family.

It was well worth reading, and I felt deeply moved by their stories. I
Lyn Elliott
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't remember now whether this book was launched at the same time as the Art Gallery of Victoria (in Melbourne, Australia) staged an exhibition on modernist arts and design in Vienna, but it could and should have been.
The great furniture settings from his family's Vienna apartment were a high point of the exhibition, for which we also have the catalogue. Terrific. And good to read before we actually went to Vienna several years ago.
Bronwyn Mcloughlin
I really enjoyed this one, especially for its Australian flavor. Not too long, and because I love family stories, it really resonated with me, the quirks and idiosyncrasies of families uncovered and laid bare, put into context and added to family story.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
A very dry boring account of World War II era in Vienna. Reads like a text book. No emotion.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My interests in World War II touch on the disposition of art during and after the war. I have had this interest since I wrote my first paper on it in high school which was regarding the disposition of so called "degenerate art" and artists.

Tim Bonyhady wrote a book about his family. His mother was born into a very rich family in Vienna. Her name was Annelore, her mother's name Gretl Gallia. Annelore's father's name was Paul Herschmann. Her parents were divorced and Annelore took her mother's na
Jan 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
The blurb on the cover says that this book is "glittering" but the only things that glitter are the jewels and works of art which the author describes in mind-numbing detail. Another piece of blurb calls it "rich in texture", but in fact the texture is flat with clumsily-formed sentences and some infelicitous use of language. Another reviewer calls it "deeply affecting" - well, no, these are people who don't spring off the page at you or come to life in any way. This could have been such an inte ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
The words that come to mind are "Labor of Love." It was so inspiring that this author was able to follow the clues and solve the mystery of the story of his own family's history.

I can understand why so many readers were befuddled and bogged down by the level of detail provided. The author worked so hard to provide the complete picture so we could see where the individuals fit. It was overwhelming at times, but in the end, I was truly touched by the tragedy. He didn't hit you over the head with
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My pick for best book of 2011 came to me late. Just published in November, Good Living Street tells the story of Moritz and Hermine Gallia and their family in the context of 20th century Vienna. Moritz Gallia was a wealthy industrialist who made his money in the manufacture of specialised fittings for the gas lamps that lit homes and businesses before the use of electricity became widespread. Like many other wealthy Jews, the Gallias, prompted by opportunity and greater political liberalization, ...more
Jan Hemphill
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
True and detailed account of the author’s family history over the last century, particularly the effects of Hitler and anti-semitism in Germany (and, even, to a lesser extent in Australia). As well as the broad scope of history’s events, the historian author thoughtfully explores the attitudes of his family in various generations, and the pressures on them as they strive to live a full and cultured life in society. Because of the huge amount of letters, diaries and other mementoes, he is able to ...more
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is more of a slow-moving, gossipy collection of coming-of-age stories than a sweeping overview of Viennese history at the beginning of the 20th century, but I really enjoyed it. It is based mostly on the diaries of the author's grandmother and mother, and though he admits he didn't have all that much material to go on (his mother threw out most of the family archives when he was young) he paints an interesting picture especially of his grandmother's youth as a rich kid in early 20th ce ...more
Frances Johnson
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good book. This is not just a tale about the author's family and how his parents escaped the Nazis. And while it is about his family and how they managed to get to Australia, it is also about a family who was a patron of the arts in the early 20th century. How they saved their collections from the Nazis is only part of the picture. It's a vivid glimps of life in Vienna before the Nazis. But more importantly, it explains how many Jewish survivors came to convert and then hide their religious hist ...more
EF Slattery
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An exhaustively researched, well-written, ultimately gripping story of the Gallia family's support of Vienna artists and artisans (most prominently, Klimt and Hoffmann) at the turn of the century--and of their subsequent persecution at the hands of the Third Reich, who stripped the family of its possessions as the Nazis rose to power. Following the family from 1903 to 1939 (when the author's grandmother and great-grandmother escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to Australia as refugees) and beyond, ...more
Sherry Mackay
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 really. Interesting but very disjointed. The first part of the book is a history of the Viennese art scene at the start of the 20th century then it segues into the story of his grandmother as a young woman. There is mention of his mother's story but he doesn't actually give much away about his parents, especially his father. He makes a lot of allusions to things that may have happened but doesn't seem to have actually found out what did happen in many instances. The story is so similar to th ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Similar to Anne-Marie O'connor's "The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" this book chronicles a portrait by Klimt and the people around it. She was rich, but in the same social circles as Bloch-Bauer.

Very good background to the artist, the artistic scene of the time; and he puts it in context of the history going on around it.

It would have benefitted from a more extensive family tree. Part of my work involves tracing heirs to estate
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read the whole book. I was interested in the life style and business of the upper class jews in Vienna around 1900. How did they escape in 1938? It is readable and very practacle in the descriptions, and the authors family is interesting and lively. He writes well and does not use a chronology to frame the book but social things like concerts, or photography or art openings or Gretl. The book really did a good job of framing escape ,to refugee to wealthy emegree, to middle class life in Sydney ...more
Nov 30, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

1/12/2012. This just won the 2012 NSW Premier's History Prize for General History AND the multicultural community NSW premier's Literary Award, which were announced last night at the state library. I'm surprised and intrigued by the polarised reviews for this book, so I look forward to delving into it. I'll keep you posted on my thoughts.
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A marvelous insight into a shimmering time in Vienna's history. The sad descent into the Nazi era is wonderfully counterbalanced by the story of the family's escape.
Mark Weinberger
Not as good as "The Lady in Gold," but still interesting.
3.5*. Improved as the book progressed. More interested in the people than the 'things'.
Margaret Williams
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
Interesting story of the author's Jewish roots pre-war in Vienna and post-war in Australia. The author is an academic which may explain why the book did read a little like a PhD thesis.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book of a destroyed world.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very informative and interesting to read.
rated it liked it
Aug 12, 2012
Melissa Fisher
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Nov 25, 2012
Defne Yağlı
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Jan 04, 2014
Mary Ann
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Mar 25, 2016
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Dec 15, 2014
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