Beware of Pity and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£5.67
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by Super Media
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Fast delivery from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Delivery and FREE standard delivery. Overnight, 2 day and International delivery available! Excellent Customer Service.. May not include supplements such as CD, access code or DVD.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Beware of Pity Paperback – 30 Jun 2011


See all 22 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 30 Jun 2011
£25.00 £2.86
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pushkin Press; New translation edition (30 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906548412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906548414
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 3.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was an Austrian writer who, at the height of his fame in the 1920s and 30s, was one of the most famous authors in the world. Zweig was born into a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family in Vienna, where he attended school and university before continuing his studies on Berlin. A devotee of Hugo von Hoffmanstahl, he had published his first book of poetry by the age of 19. After taking a pacifist stance during the First World War he travelled widely and became an international bestseller with a string of hugely popular novellas including Letter from an Unknown Woman, Amok and Fear. He also developed friendships with great writers, thinkers and artists of the day, including Romain Rolland, Rainer Maria Rilke, Arturo Toscanini and, perhaps most importantly, Sigmund Freud, whose philosophy had a great influence on Zweig's work.

In 1934, with the rise of Nazism, he moved to London. There he began proceedings for the divorce of his first wife Frederika, whom he had left for his secretary Lotte Altmann, a young German-Jewish refugee. In London he also wrote his only novel - his most famous and arguably greatest work, Beware of Pity - before moving to Bath, where, with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, he and Lotte took British citizenship. With the German occupation of France in 1940, Zweig, a committed pacifist and advocate of European integration, was devastated. "Europe is finished, our world destroyed," he wrote. Zweig and Lotte married and left Europe for New York, before finally settling in Petrópolis, Brazil, where in 1942 the couple were found dead in an apparent double suicide.

Product Description

Review

Beware of Pity is the most exciting book I have ever read...a feverish, fascinating novel. --ANTHONY BEEVOR, Sunday Telegraph

The novel I'll really remember reading this year is Stefan Zweig's frighteningly gripping Beware of Pity, first published in 1939 (...) and part of the ongoing, valiant reprinting by Pushkin Press of Zweig's collected oeuvre; an intoxicating, morally shaking read about human responsibilities and a real reminder of what fiction can do best. --ALI SMITH, TLS Book of the Year 2008

An unremittingly tense parable about emotional blackmail, this is a book which turns every reader into a fanatic. --JULIE KAVANAGH, Intelligent Life (The Economist)

Beware of Pity is the most exciting book I have ever read...a feverish, fascinating novel. --Anthony Beevor, Sunday Telegraph

An unremittingly tense parable about emotional blackmail, this is a book which turns every reader into a fanatic. --JULIE KAVANAGH, Intelligent Life (The Economist)

Beware of Pity is the most exciting book I have ever read...a feverish, fascinating novel. --Anthony Beevor, Sunday Telegraph

An unremittingly tense parable about emotional blackmail, this is a book which turns every reader into a fanatic. --JULIE KAVANAGH, Intelligent Life (The Economist)

About the Author

Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna, a member of a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. He studied in Berlin and Vienna and was first known as a translator and later as a biographer. Zweig travelled widely, living in Salzburg between the wars, and enjoying literary fame. His stories and novellas were collected in 1934. In the same year, with the rise of Nazism, he briefly moved to London, taking British citizenship. After a short period in New York, he settled in Brazil where in 1942 he and his wife were found dead in bed in an apparent double suicide.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By H. Carlton on 15 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
"Beware of Pity" is breathtaking, making one examine the qualities one demands of fiction and ruminate on how seldom they are fulfilled.
A naive young soldier takes pity on a young crippled girl who falls in love with him. That is how this deceptively simple story begins.
But he finds himself trapped in a web of "good intentions" spun by the girl's family, all urging him to fulfill her dreams of romance.
He simply doesn't know what to do.
And the plot thickens and thickens until the reader himself feels trapped.
One cannot wait to read how it will end.
This book fulfills all, and more, of what I expect from a book.
I love a book which makes you turn the pages, breathless to know what is going to happen.
If it also gives you ample food for thought, as this does, on the moral complexities of life, so much the better.
How did Stefan Zweig manage to make me, a reader with very firm rules about never looking at the last pages before reading everything that comes before them, long to know how this gripping tale turns out?
I have read thousands of novels but never one with such a grip on the reader.
I compare it to "Perfume" by Susskind, and "Les Liasons Dangereuses" by de Laclos in intensity and ingenuity.
As well as being intensely gripping, it is also beautifully written with such an understanding of the four main characters that it is almost uncanny: you become these characters and have an equal insight into each one.
If you have never read Zweig, this would be an unforgettable introduction. You could then go on to his marvellous novellas.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Baz on 7 July 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...no, not the book by Dave Eggers, but this masterpiece by Stefan Zweig. I came upon this by accident, and bought it, intrigued by the story outline and the reviews below. Only very, very rarely does a book have the power to draw me into the lives of the characters, probably because they're usually just that - characters. Not so here. Here we have flesh and blood and all that entails. I'm still amazed at Zweig's story telling. He's the kind of writer who could make a shopping list fascinating. I lived and breathed every single word in this incredibly beautiful book, and as Nigel Rodgers has accurately said below, the tension becomes almost unendurable. I can hardly do justice to it in a few words. Weirdly, I often found myself smiling, not because it's a funny book, far from it, but just through an appreciation of Zweig's supreme mastery of his art. This is one of those books appearing only a few times in your life that wring emotion out of you whether you like it or not. A heart-breaking, unforgettable and life-enriching experience.

Kudos to Pushkin Press for publishing a very handsome new edition. I'd also like to praise the translation, too, by Trevor and Phyllis Blewitt. At no time is there even a hint that you're reading a translation - something that occurred to me only after finishing the book. On the contrary, it seems to me that the elegance of the language and all the magnificent virtues that contribute to Zweig's humanity and genius have been faithfully rendered. The proof is in my twin disappointments; coming to the end, and learning that there are no further full-length novels by Zweig. I'll definitely be reading all his other works, though.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jayne on 5 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
I absolutely loved this book. It was an impulse purchase, and exceeded my expectations.

The story really draws you in so that you can understand the motivations of the main characters and the seemingly inexorable path to the final conclusion. The characterisation is excellent, and I really felt as if I understood and could inhabit, for a short while, the world in which its set.

There is a profound underlying message to the story (which isn't really hidden at all - see the title!) and I found myself reflecting on what the protagonists could have done differently at each stage of the story for many days after I finished reading the book.

I already know this is a book I will likely read again - and there really aren't many other books I can say that about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2013
Format: Hardcover
First published in 1939 this had already been translated into English before the year was out, because although Stefan Zweig is being 're-discovered' again, in his lifetime he was a very well known and popular writer. Reading only short stories by this author before it was great to come to read a novel by him. Unlike some who usually write shorter pieces and then their novels just read like a series of short stories stuck together, this does read like a proper novel.

The main plot of the story in itself is simple, Lieutenant Anton Hofmiller, a cavalry officer makes a faux pas at a party, by asking - unknown to him, a crippled girl to dance with him. Embarrassed and ashamed of any insult he may have committed, Hofmiller seeks to make some kind of amends to the seventeen year old Edith. What starts off as pity for the young girl (Hofmiller is twenty five himself) gradually becomes more, as Edith starts to fall in love with Anton. So here you already have Edith's unrequited love and the frustration of being a cripple, plus Anton's ever increasing problems and mistakes as he tries not to hurt anyone.

Although that is the main plot there are of course other issues and sub plots as well. Here you start to get an understanding of what the difference between honour and manners are for the civilian population, compared to that of the military. There are also a couple of pieces in here that are short stories in their own rights, one concerns how Edith's father came from humble roots to be such a wealthy and powerful man, and another concerns an officer who left the army under a dark cloud. There is also an understanding of Freudian psychology in this tale.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback