Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lament for the Habsburg Empire
The book gives us vignettes of Vienna before and after the First World War. The narrator is the young Slovene-born aristocrat von Trotta, named Franz Josef in honour of the revered Emperor, and in his attitudes alienated by everything that is modern and post-Habsburg. He valued the heterogeneity of the Empire. Before the war he had lived in the circle of his mostly...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by Ralph Blumenau

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Not quite what I was expecting, but an OK read.
Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer


Most Helpful First | Newest First

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lament for the Habsburg Empire, 9 Feb 2012
By 
Ralph Blumenau (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The book gives us vignettes of Vienna before and after the First World War. The narrator is the young Slovene-born aristocrat von Trotta, named Franz Josef in honour of the revered Emperor, and in his attitudes alienated by everything that is modern and post-Habsburg. He valued the heterogeneity of the Empire. Before the war he had lived in the circle of his mostly pleasure-loving, frivolous and cynical equals, who would mock anyone who expressed deep feelings, like love, for example; so he had then to keep to himself his love for Elizabeth, the daughter of a Hungarian count. Not that he shares all the attitudes of his circle. For example he is not antisemitic; and when, on the recommendations of Joseph Branco, Trotta's working-class cousin, a Jewish Galician coachman called Manes Reisiger calls on him and asks him to help his gifted violinist son to get a place in the music conservatory, Trotta knows just the influential man to turn to - a Polish nobleman who has a proprietorial interest in "his" Jews and who delights in annoying the antisemites precisely by getting him this position. Trotta actually accepts an invitation from the grateful Jew to stay in his house in Galicia, and feels very much at home there, as he does in all parts of the Empire. While he is there, the First World War breaks out.

Trotta, Joseph and Manes all enrol; but unlike those who accept the war with a kind of gaiety, these three feel the wings of death. So alienated did Trotta feel from the light-heartedness of the comrades of the smart Viennese battalion with whom he had done his reserve duty that he enlisted in the more plebeian regiment which Joseph and Manes had joined on the Russian front. He has one day in which to take leave of his mother (his relationship with her is an important part of the book) and to marry in haste - dramatic scenes both, powerfully described. He joins the regiment while it is in retreat from the Russians, and the three friends are soon taken prisoner and sent to prisoner-of-war camp in Siberia. The account of their journey and stay there is again most memorable.

He returns to a Vienna which is no longer the capital of a multi-ethnic empire; where there is no money, where titles have disappeared, where there are new art forms and new sexual mores (though surely these had made themselves felt before the war?). He has no real job, though he is on the meager payroll of an unsuccessful arts-and-crafts business run by his wife, her lesbian partner and her father. They are forced to turn their big house into a boarding-house, albeit that their lodgers are all old friends of theirs, who are also all in financial difficulties. Even so, for a few pages he is happy, wonderfully thrilled to become a father. Then the household disintegrates, and he once again feels a stranger in the new world, on leave from death (as he has felt ever since the beginning of the war), so alienated that he never reads the papers. But suddenly and rather abruptly we find ourselves in 1934, with the Dollfuss government crushing "Red Vienna"; a few pages on and we are in 1938 and the Nazis have taken over. The book ends with him desolately paying his respects at the Emperor's Tomb.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and timely, 17 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A fabulous tale of a lost world and a warning against nationalism....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bleak and inevitable decline., 6 Jun 2003
By 
A.K.Farrar "AKF" (Timisoara, Romania) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Paperback)
Spanning the First World War, this short novel outlines the fall from grace of a minor Austro-Hungarian Noble, a scion of a once proud and heroic family.
It is quite a bleak book in many ways - and reminds me of the world Beckett creates in Waiting for Godot. There is an inevitability in the fall and no action could have prevented it.
The language used (at least in this translation) is minimal and strips to the bone images - making those that remain quite haunting. One which has remained with me for several days is the image of violets blooming from the bones of dead men.
Certainly a great, if troubling, book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Well written book by a vey good writer. The story relates to period of the ..., 15 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Paperback)
Well written book by a vey good writer. The story relates to period of the first world war and the end of the Austrian Hungarian Empire and the consequences to the life of people from different levels of society.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 30 Nov 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Paperback)
Not quite what I was expecting, but an OK read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Aug 2014
By 
L. Bainbridge (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Paperback)
Good service and a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Skeletal., 15 Sep 2003
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Paperback)
The Radetzky March, which precedes this book, is a big, fully conceived novel of the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with memorable and unique characters from the von Trotta family, vivid description, and narrative and thematic unity. The Emperor's Tomb, by contrast, is an incomplete outline, lifeless, cold, and mournful. Continuing the story of the Trotta family, this time concentrating on a branch of the family which did not receive a title or its privileges, Roth attempts to bring Austrian history from World War I up to 1938, the year of the book's publication.
In 1914 Franz Ferdinand Trotta is a young man with no real goals, other than pleasure. When the Emperor declares war, he becomes a soldier on the Eastern front and, very quickly, a prisoner of war sent to Siberia. Upon his eventual release and return to Vienna after the war, he finds the monarchy gone, the financial system in disarray, and his personal life in tatters. What remains--and never changes--is Trotta's lack of direction, his lack of purpose, and, most distressingly, his lack of motivation regarding his future.
Trotta's refusal to recognize that he can and must now assume power over his own life leaves the reader with a character for whom there can be no epiphany and no real climax. Trotta is a throw-back, insisting even twenty years after the war, "I still belong to a palpably vanished world, a world in which it seem[s] plain that a people exists to be ruled and that, therefore, if it wishes to continue being a people it cannot rule itself." Though the political situation in post-war Vienna, leading to the rise of Hitler, could have led to a chilling, dramatic story, Roth steers clear of this, choosing instead to memorialize the vanished past by giving us a character whose failure to adapt to change reflects some of the very characteristics which destroyed the empire he mourns. Mary Whipple
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as perfect as Radetsky March, 19 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Callow rich youth, unlikely friend, mother, love story, marriage and spineless fate. Female characters weird. Ŵar experiences random. Slaughterhouse 5, Catch 22, Lots of other contemporary books did it much tester. Disappointing after reading Radetsky
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars High on historical value, low on art, 15 July 2013
By 
M. D. Holley (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this for the window on the world of Austria, but otherwise I think it rather weak (and perhaps incomplete) as a novel.

The plot feels rather disjointed and pointless to me.

The part I found most interesting was the way Trotta's family had to adapt to the post war economic situation. But as he buried his head in the sand and never read the papers there is not a lot of insight as to what was going on in those years.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who kills, will be killed, 23 Jan 2009
By 
Luc REYNAERT (Beernem, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Emperor's Tomb (Paperback)
This book is a long jeremiad on the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the 1st World War. It expresses the nostalgia of the nobility for the spirit of the ancient monarchy, where a preferential place in society was reserved for them. But the war destroyed everything: position, class, estate, money, values, past, present and future.
The central theme in this novel is `death': literary (no instinct of procreation) and also symbolically (no fatherland).

Written in a profound melancholic tone, this novel is mainly based on a fundamental contradiction. Joseph Roth (through the words of Baron Trotta) believed that only the Habsburgs could maintain and manage a federation of all the people of the Balkan. But, the Habsburgs themselves are responsible for the war disaster and, concomitantly, for the collapse of their empire.

Only for Joseph Roth fans.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Emperor's Tomb
The Emperor's Tomb by Joseph Roth (Paperback - 7 Nov 2013)
£7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews