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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 16 February 2014
What a joy to have all of Zweig's short stories in one book. This contains 22 stories written between 1900-1940, spanning most of his writing life. It gives us an overview of his great contribution to the form - which was not easy to grasp when reading the brief and separate collections of his work the Pushkin Press had issued previously. All are translated from the German by that doyen of translators, Anthea Bell, who has done so much for Zweig in the English speaking world - she must surely be today's equivalent of Constance Garnett, who was writing at the same time as Zweig and who brought Turgenev and other great Russian novelists into English for the first time.

From the very first we encounter Zweig's impassioned, heightened, romantic style (it makes the plain, paired-down style favoured in so many novels today seem insipid by comparison). We are plunged into highly dramatic situations (some, perhaps, not wholly plausible) in which the effects on the characters involved, rather than the events, are what counts. Characters are always vividly realised, full of individuality, brilliantly described; invariably, they have reached a crisis point in their lives, are on the brink either of radical change or annihilation; their interior lives are what interests him most, events creating revelations and re-evaluations. Many of his characters are, in a Dostoevskian sense, under extremes of internal pressure.

Love, death, humanity - these are the great themes that irradiate his work; he draws you into human dramas with effortless ease and great narrative art. He believes strongly in telling a story rather than relying on atmospheric scenes and telling conversations, and this is not only satisfying at a deep level but gives many of the stories the feeling that they might have been novellas (some are called just that by others) in terms of their richness, scope and impact. What shines through is Zweig's acute sense of psychology, his great compassion for his characters, his extraordinary wisdom; and his literary skill puts him with the best European writers of the century.
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on 26 January 2015
There is no doubt this is a wonderful collection, bringing together a number of Anthea Bell's excellent
previously published translations with some new ones never before available in English. But this is "collected stories" not "complete" stories and in the absence of any introductory material, it's difficult to work out why certain works have not been included. The most obvious omission is Zweig's famous chess story The Royal Game. Now a lot of Zweig's work hovers in the long short story / novella vein but The Royal Game is actually shorter than other stories which are included here. And there are other novellas published by Pushkin Press which have also been ignored. Maybe it was felt the volume was too bulky already, maybe a volume called Collected Novellas is planned (that would be great!) but however you look at it, this volume does not contain all the stories Zweig wrote.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 December 2014
I’d be the first to admit that I really don’t generally like or enjoy short stories. But I would always make an exception for writers such as Stefan Zweig or Joseph Roth. These authors have an enviable ability to get inside the human condition and within pages, paragraphs or even sentences, lay people open as they really are, as opposed to how they wish to appear in society.

This collection is all the short stories written by Zweig (1881-1942). A Jewish Austrian writer, Zweig was horrified by the rise of the Nazis. He and his wife fled Austria in 1934, and lived in England, before moving to the USA and then to Brazil. In 1942, despairing of the future of Europe and its culture, they committed suicide.

Zweig’s writing is deep and introspective, yet utterly human and readable. These 22 short stories range from just a few pages to about 60 pages, and are published in this wonderful Pushkin Press edition in order of their being written and published, originally in German (from 1900 to 1942). The stories take place in different times and places, but always write of men and women who make and live life choices, for better or for worse. They are timeless in their humanity and compassion, empathy and sorrow, and offer a wonderful legacy to Zweig’s work.
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on 7 February 2016
Zweig is a fantastic writer and this book of short stories are another example. It is nice to read it in a coffee house after a long working day with a cup of americano. Short , easy and wonderful novellas
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on 12 June 2014
Some of these stories were slightly over the top and melodramatic for today's taste, but most of them were gems of literature (thank you translator Anthea Bell who cannot be praised enough) and insight into the human condition and the psychological reasons why things don't always go in a straightforward predictable fashion. Great read.
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on 5 December 2014
A beautifully produced volume of less familiar Stefan Zweig's shorter fiction. Strongly recommended!
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on 29 December 2013
A most intelligent and masterly written collection.

I challenge anyone to read the various stories and not be moved.

Buy it !
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on 17 April 2016
Bought for my daughter and she loves it.
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on 17 May 2016
As always. Fantastic!
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on 11 March 2015
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