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L'Ordre du jour

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  4,191 ratings  ·  618 reviews
L’Allemagne nazie a sa légende. On y voit une armée rapide, moderne, dont le triomphe parait inexorable. Mais si au fondement de ses premiers exploits se découvraient plutôt des marchandages, de vulgaires combinaisons d’intérêts ? Et si les glorieuses images de la Wehrmacht entrant triomphalement en Autriche dissimulaient un immense embouteillage de panzers ? Une simple ...more
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published May 3rd 2017 by Actes Sud
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Diane S ☔
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On March 12th, 1933 the wealthy heads of German industry gather to pledge their support and money to Adolp Hitler. Greed, pure greed but without them and most importantly the money the pledged, the Holocaust would never have happened, Hitler wouldn't have come to be the Fuhrer.

Chilling, but the ironies continue. The saying, however, it goes, the one that supposed that without the horse, the kingdom would have been lost, can be used here. If just one thing had been different, one powerful person
...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
The Order of the Day is a concise novel that challenges perceptions of history and time; it's driven by black comedy through which Vuillard demonstrates that history is written to fit an agenda, and that agenda is not always to tell the truth.

The Nazi takeover of Austria was not as clean as the media (the Nazi media) told the world at the time. Underneath the warm welcoming the Nazi’s received when they entered the country, was years of political scheming, assassinations and manipulations. Eric
...more
Meike
Jun 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: france, 2018-read
Winner of the Prix Goncourt 2017
I am starting to see a pattern in contemporary French lit: While Didier Eribon and Édouard Louis are turning sociology into literature, Laurent Binet and Éric Vuillard are turning history into literature - and as all science operates with language, this widespread exploration of the permeable border between fact and fiction is truly intriguing. While the idea is not entirely new (think of Golo Mann's Wallenstein: His Life Narrated), the paths these authors choose
...more
Paul
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-two
I am not sure what this book is meant to be. It has been described as a novel, possibly a historical novel: or could it be just plain history. The author refers to it as a “recit”, a sort of historical essay with a few extras. One of the purposes of the author is to warn: “Great catastrophes often creep up on us in tiny steps”.
Vuillard looks at the meeting in February 1933 between Hitler and 24 leading German industrialists, with names that are still prominent today in big business (Siemens,
...more
Sam Quixote
Eric Vuillard recounts certain scenes from the 1930s during Hitler’s rise to power: German business titans giving money to fund his political campaigns, Hitler bullying Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg into agreeing to the Anschluss, and Neville Chamberlain and co.’s failed attempts at appeasement.

This isn’t fiction; this is narrative history. So why does the blurb describe this as a “novel” and how did it win the 2017 Prix Goncourt, France’s highest literary prize for fiction?

Well, possibly
...more
Antonomasia
[3.5] What is the purpose of novels like this one, with stories that stick closely to real historical events?

I can only suppose that here, one purpose was to relate history in a style different from a serious non-fiction history book. And, if you are not otherwise very interested in the minutiae of the events, and don't object to the addition of the occasional sneeze, speculation on how a historical figure felt, and conversations about [classical] music politicians were known to like, it makes
...more
Pascale
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book deals with 2 infamous episodes of the nazi saga: the willing cooperation of most great German industrialists with Hitler's regime, and Hitler's annexation of his native Austria to the Reich. Vuillard concentrates on a few characters, some very well-known like Chamberlain, some less familiar to Western readers like the Austrian president Miklas. What these people have in common is that they all behaved badly. Whether they were corrupt, cowardly, more or less delusional or totally ...more
Alex
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The french authors did it again. After Enard's "Parle-leur de batailles, de rois ..." or Foenkinos' "Charlotte" comes from France another winner with a very lyrical and highly emotional book.
This is history telling 2.0. It is a book to read slowly, to think about each paragraph, to enjoy. There are so many informations and details, I found myself searching for dates, facts, photos, names, even the star signs those Nazis have been born under (hahahaha). I learned very much history in only 4 days
...more
Nancy
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Finished: 13 November 2017
Genre: historical fiction
Score C
Trivia: Winner of Prix Goncourt 2017....and just 160 pages?
Review: This was a quick read even in French.
Is it me? This book is nothing more than a re-telling
of history with a 'writer's flair' to help the reader
envisage what is happening:
...nervous men twisting gold wedding bands
...eager Austrians standing on tippy -toes to watch the
Germans steamroll into their country
...tick-tock waiting for a telegram from Austrian
President Miklas who
...more
Daniela

Basically a retelling of the beginning of Second World War with sarcastic commentary.
Stef Smulders
Jan 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: humbug
Eric Vuillard is an imposter who has written a fake history of a very serious event of the 20th century: the German annexation of Austria in 1938. In interviews the author says he invented very little in his ‘récit’, which is a popular new genre of literature in France and suggests he has done a lot of research in archives to delve up several unknown facts about the Anschluss. This turns out to be nonsense for the most part. One only has to do a little research to find out, as I did. ...more
Eddie Clarke
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, foyles, history
If you studied History in school you will be very familiar with the sad procession of escalating events in the 1930s which led to WWII. This brief book is that same list of events retold with a novelist's narrative skill, observation, imagination, and psychological insight. The effect is emotionally fresh and powerful.

Vuillard's technique is to sidle up on the climactic meetings sideways, looking at them in unfamiliar and experiential ways. He frequently foregrounds comic elements, using them to
...more
Jorge
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Order of the Day is a brilliant, extraordinary and disturbing book. It provides a powerful and angry look into the rise of fascism and the behind the scenes manipulations that lead to the Anschluss of Austria into Nazi Germany on 12 March 1938. Vuillard chillingly shows how the enablers, from heads of German corporations, to corrupt politicians, and foreign powers did absolutely nothing to stop the Nazis. This is a slim powerful masterpiece that needs to be read. Highly recommended.
Bart
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, nonfiction
Actual rating: 2.50
Vuk Trifkovic
I can't see how on earth this, I guess I'll call it micro-novella could have won a Goncourt. It's not the brevity that it is a problem. It's just an utterly unilluminating approach it takes.
Braekeveldt
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would have given 3 stars to this book but as it is a Goncourt and not worth it, I deduct 1 star. A disgrace for the jury!!!
Pauline Van etc.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
2017 recipient of the prix Goncourt, France’s highest book prize, «L’Ordre du jour» was a short but excellent book about the days leading to the Anschluss (the annexation of Austria by the nazis). Vuillard uses an original approach by bringing the reader closer to the important historical figures who supported the nazis or were too weak to stand against them.

Vuillard is uncompromisingly biting and sarcastic with the characters he deals with and I found myself laughing out loud with some
...more
Henri
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, fiction
An incredible, truly gripping and very dark this is a fantastic short read for anyone needing a refresher on how democracies fall and dictatorships rise. On how easy it is to lose everything and how hard to stop the tide when the gates of hell have opened.

In four or five fantastic anecdotes, Vuillard explores with us a comical but dark nature of some the key turning points be that conversations, meetings, dinners or summits that led to the first shots of the second world war.

You can read this in
...more
Pnina
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. A genuine masterpiece.
Jeroen
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction is often presented in the cold light of objectivity, with authors content with merely letting the facts (as we know them) speak. They are often unwilling (or unable) to take sides. This is a perfectly reasonable way to do things - it is a way of transporting the reader into that past and make her or him understand the motivations of those actors of history which have been caricaturised by the passing of time. To write historical fiction is often an act of bravado, a grand ...more
Tom Mooney
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This stunning, mesmerising short novel (really it's more like 'opinionated non-fiction') attacks the received wisdom that history is inevitable and that our collective certainties are truth.

Through a series of embellished set pieces Vuillard, a French film-maker and novelist, brings us the catastrophic lead-up to WW2.

There are legendary funding drives at meetings between Hitler and the titans of German industry, the intimidation of the Austrian hierarchy, lunches between Chamberlain and a Nazi
...more
Eleanor
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histfic
Vuillard's Prix Goncourt-winning novel is so short (160 pages) that I feel I'd be justified in making anything I wrote about it commensurately shorter. (Although I realise that, by its grace, I've managed to participate in Novellas In November.) It is, more or less, fiction, but you could be forgiven for reading it as a kind of chatty, intimate history; there is no protagonist, and no narrator save for an omniscient voice that has somewhat the flavour of Thackeray's knowing asides to the reader. ...more
Kelley
My advice is to skip this book

Its hard to imagine a more disappointing book. The claim it won an award, the 2017 Prix Goncourt, really would make me question the validity of this award. This book, I guess is mostly about the Austrian Anschluss (annexation) by Nazi Germany in 1939. Yet honestly I’m not entirely certain as it wandered a lot between various aspects of Nazi history and contemporary times. To even call this a history is a little circumspect as well since no sources are cited, and no
...more
Colin
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an astonishingly skillful study into history and what Hannah Arendt calls "The Banality of Evil". Only 129 pages long, but it teases out some lesser-known details of the build-up to war: Hitler's bullying of his Austrian counterpart to precipitate the Anschluss, the agreement of certain leading German industrialists to capitulate to Nazism, the smiling faces that greeted the Wehrmacht when they arrived in Vienna, Ribentropp's boorish personality. In clear, readable prose, he makes ...more
Ann Evans
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE ORDER OF THE DAY, the 2017 Prix Goncourt winner by Éric Vuillard, translated by Mark Polizzotti, pretends to be about February 20, 1933, the day when a clique of twenty-four of Germany’s wealthiest businessmen agreed to fund the nearly bankrupt Nazi party in advance of elections which the party went on to win, thus signing the death warrant for millions of people, and also about February 12, 1938, when Kurt von Schuschnigg, the authoritarian Chancellor of Austria, capitulated to Adolf ...more
Ginger Griffin
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastique. In every sense of the word.

American publishing seems to classify this book as a novel, but in French it's called a "récit," which means something more like "narrative." That better captures the spirit of the book, which centers around the Anschluss of March 1938 (Hitler's annexation of Austria).

Vuillard tells his account through vignettes and fragments. Corporate titans and political leaders wander into the Nazis' trap, unable to respond to the brazen show of German force (though
...more
Spencer
I would classify this as speculative history. The events of the story are real, but much of the back story is speculative. No one was recording the conversations between Hitler and the various players. What Vuillard presents is plausible, given what we know off the actual outcomes and the personalities of the players. The author also provides the color, detail and emotion of a novelist.

The story opens with a meeting in the Reichstag of 24 captains of German industry on February 20, 1933. Some of

...more
Jill Meyer
French author Eric Vuillard has written a very short book - if it was fiction, you'd call it a novella - about Nazi Germany. "The Order of the Day" begins and ends with short chapters about the major German industrialists of the 1930's and how they threw their support to Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party. There were no clean hands among the Thyssens, the Krupps, or the other armament merchants who made nothing but money in Germany from 1933 to 1945. Money made using the free labor from ...more
Jim
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, france, fiction
Éric Vuillard's The Order of the Day is a short book with the kick of a mule. It looks at several moments in the rise and fall of the Third Reich, from the meeting in which captains of German industry promise to open their wallets for Hitler to the Anschluss to the Nuremberg Trials.

All these little moments of seeming normality lead to the ghost-haunted aftermath of World War Two. I can't shake the book's last paragraph from my mind:
We never fall twice into the same abyss. But we always fall the
...more
Alex
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novella of crushing moral certitude. Vuillard imagines two critical moments in the rise of Nazism - the assembly of baronial corporate titans in 1933 which funded the Nazi electoral campaign and the Anschluss in 1938. These moments, along with a scattering of others and plenty of asides, ensnare us in the vice of complicity with evil, the longevity of capital's inherent moral failures, and the lingering, damning effects down to the present day.

"We never fall twice into the same abyss. But we
...more
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Born in Lyons in 1968, Éric Vuillard is a French author and film director. His books include Conquistadors (winner of the Ignatius J. Reilly prize 2010), and La Bataille de l'occident and Congo, for both of which he was awarded the 2012 Franz-Hessel prize and the 2013 Valery-Larbaud prize. Sorrow of the Earth is the first of his titles to be translated into English.
“e never fall twice into the same abyss. But we always fall the same way, in a mixture of ridicule and dread. We so desperately want not to fall that we grapple for a handhold, screaming. With their heels they crush our fingers, with their beaks they smash our teeth and peck out our eyes. The abyss is bordered by tall mansions. And there stands History, a reasonable goddess, a frozen statue in the middle of the town square. Dried bunches of peonies are her annual tribute; her daily gratuity, bread crumbs for the birds.” 1 likes
“It’s strange how the most dyed-in-the-wool tyrants still vaguely respect due process, as if they want to make it appear that they aren’t abusing procedure, even while riding roughshod over every convention. It’s as if power isn’t enough for them, and that they take special pleasure in forcing their enemies to perform, one last time and for their benefit, the same rituals that they are even then demolishing.” 0 likes
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