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Kahn and Engelmann: A Novel (Biblioasis International Translation Series) Paperback – 15 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Biblioasis; 1 edition (15 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897231547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897231548
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,255,608 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This sweeping novel describes in a narrative that is both personal and broad..."--Jewish Book World "The freedom of the novel form and the use of the narrator's voice has brought the book to life far more than would have been possible if he had simply recounted these events as they happened."A Common Reader "Kahn & Engelmann recreates a long-lost way of life. But it also revives a vanished pan-European sensibility. Beautifully written, it may be the last great European novel, a middle-European hybrid of Remembrance of Things Past and Buddenbrooks."—Globe and Mail "Eichner's narrative implicates contemporary readers as none of the others can do today by remaining a family saga, complicated by family businesses, messy divorces, rivalries, disputes, suicides, success and failure, all of it compelling to anyone with a family."Geist

About the Author

Hans Eichner: Hans Eichner was born in Vienna in 1921 and, being Jewish, escaped to England after the annexation of Austria by Hitler's Germany. He enrolled at the University of London as an extension student in 1943, got a Ph.D. in 1949 and taught German language and literature at Bedford College in London, Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and the University of Toronto from 1948-1988. He published books on Thomas Mann and Friedrich Schlegel. His novel Kahn & Englemann was first published in German in 2000 and was reprinted in 2002.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Cunliffe TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
The English translation of Kahn and Englemann was published this year by the Canadian publisher Biblioasis, just three days after its author Hans Eichner died at the age of 87. Eichner, an Austrain Jew, was well-placed to write this story of a Jewish family from rural Hungary as they made their way through the trials of the last century, for much of the book echoes his own family and personal history.

In the midst of the story is of course the Holocaust, but it features more as an ironic exit room for many of the Kahns and Engelmann's, for Eichner does not dwell on the horrors, but reports that such and such "turned his face to the wall and starved to death in the Theresienstadt concentration camp" - after all, the horrors are well known, and perhaps Eichner realised that he had little to add to those more detailed accounts from other authors. However, more on this towards the end of this review.

The story begins in Tapolca, near Lake Balaton in Hungary, where the Kahn's are wealthy estate owners. However, the story begins with the narrator's grandmother, Sidonie, at the age of 17 deciding to marry a poor shoe-maker. Nobody can persuade her otherwise, and she even escapes from virtual house-arrest to go to the boy she has chosen for herself, before long returning home expecting a baby.

I won't describe the whole story as it is enough to say that the family eventually relocate to Vienna where they prosper despite initial hardship. Another generation takes the stage, as successful clothing retailers. We read their stories and hear how they bicker and fight, but remain united in the face of increasing anti-Jewish feeling during the 1930s.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Five Stars 28 Feb. 2015
By kathy erteman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this along side Hare with the Amber Eyes
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