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The Emperor's Tomb Paperback – 7 Nov 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Granta; Revised edition edition (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847086128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847086129
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'This beautiful, elegant, almost dreamlike novel is described by Hofmann, as a round-the-corner continuation of Roth's masterpiece, The Radetzky March.' -- The Times

'An urgent and deceptively moving lamentation of stark emotion... An inspired variation on the traditional coming-of-age narrative... A profound farewell gesture of love and sorrow, such heartbreaking sorrow.' --Irish Times

'Superbly translated by the poet Michael Hofmann... Roth remains one of the greatest literary geniuses of the 20th century.' - Evening Standard

'Anyone who knows anything about the last years of Roth's life exiled, impoverished, alcoholic will find it remarkable that he was able to complete a novel, and will be astonished that it is so good... It sounds sad; it is sad. It sounds depressing; it is not depressing. This is first because each scene is so vividly written. Roth was always a master of the revealing detail, which is less to paint a picture than to evoke a mood. It is also because, in spite of the prevailing atmosphere of melancholy, dissolution, evanescence, and doom, Roth could never quite prevent high spirits from breaking in, and the book is often very funny... Best of all, no-one handles the passing of time, and the regrets this brings, better than Roth.' -Scotsman

'Michael Hoffman has done peerless work in resuscitating Roth's reputation, not least with the publication last year of Joseph Roth: A Life in Letters... That Roth could write such a wonderful book at such a time in his state of health is utterly remarkable.' -- Herald

'Roth's way of tying vivid personal incidents to a wider story of continental decline feels more urgent here. His short chapters, with their abrupt endings and fragmentary first-person narrative, depict a puzzling modern world in which old friends talk politics in bars while Death stretches his bony fingers over their drinks... Mr Hofmann's bold translation pays due respect to the lamplit streets of the city and the romantic feelings of its hero, yet allows for a character to be gobsmacked and for a coachman to be a cabbie. It is the carefully wrought work of a poet in full sympathy with his subject and his subject matter, in all its rootlessness, melancholy and ironic brevity.' --Economist

'Joseph Roth's chronicles of a turbulent Europe have been brought back to life in recent years in translations by the poet Michael Hofmann. Now Hofmann gives us Roth's final novel, published in 1938, a year before his death in exile in Paris... This lament has all the more power for knowing it was written as Europe was about to fall once more.' --Metro

'Lean, choppy... Pauperized and debilitated in exile, Roth was at his lowest ebb by 1939, but, in that courageous and irrepressible vein which marks the resplendent prose of The Emperor's Tomb, he still ends on a high.' --Times Literary Supplement

'Unforgettable, really great literature - and so rare to have it so expertly rendered into English. Treat yourself.' --'Best Books of 2013', William Boyd, Scotsman

'Fractured and melancholic... more an extended prose poem than a novel.' -- 'Fiction of the Year', Irish Times

'Roth wrote of the most serious of things with the lightest of touches.' --Howard Jacobsen, Summer books round up, Sunday Times

About the Author

JOSEPH ROTH (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler's assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he later died in poverty. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books. MICHAEL HOFMANN is the highly acclaimed translator of Joseph Roth, Wolfgang Koeppen, Kafka, and Brecht and the author of several books of poems and book of criticism. He has translated nine previous books by Joseph Roth. He teaches at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

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