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Last Stop Vienna Hardcover – 1 Mar 2003

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 269 pages
  • Publisher: James Bennett Pty Ltd; First Edition edition (1 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743237501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743237505
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.5 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,482,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A grave on Vienna`s Central Cemetery is the final destination for a young man from inter-war Germany. Karl Naumann is a timid, fatherless 15-year-old boy when the Great War ends and the Weimar Republic is established. Impressed by the nationalist veterans of the Free Corps in Berlin, he becomes embroiled in their violent street fighting with communist revolutionaries following the murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Once he has got into contact with Nazi activist Otto Strasser and joined a storm trooper unit, he is sent to Munich to help the rising Nazi movement and support its alliance with the right-wing parties of the Kampfbund.

The capital of Bavaria proves to be the place where Karl is initiated into what has long been regarded as true manliness. Not only does he succeed in gaining the respect of his tough comrades by guarding the public speeches of Adolf Hitler but he experiences the joys of sexuality when he falls in love with a blonde, busty nurse named Sabine Koch. Instrumental as he is to Hitler`s struggle for power, Karl has neither an inkling of his political plans nor an interest in his racial ideology. Instead, he simply contents himself with beating up political opponents and running personal errands for leading party members.

Years later Karl is given the assignment of showing Hitler`s niece the sites of the city. Angela Geli" Raubal turns out to be a 16-year-old girl from Vienna whose vivacity attracts his attention immediately. Struck by her elusive seductiveness, he cannot but feel that she is weighed down by some mysterious burden. This does not prevent him from having a passionate love affair with her as soon as she moves to Munich and settles into an apartment next to her uncle`s in Thierschstrasse 41.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 9 Mar. 2003
By Tracy Rowan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nagorski is probably an excellent journalist. He can write, but his characterization and plotting aren't up to snuff here. The protagonist (I hesitate to use the word "hero" in this case.) is a young man who learns absolutely nothing in the nearly 300 pages of this book. He begins as an angry, irresponsible teenager who deserts his widowed mother in the aftermath of the first World War, and he ends as a prisoner who comes to hate the man (Hitler) he once worshipped, but still shares Hitler's values and beliefs. Perhaps this would have worked in a book about private people, but once you involve a public figure like Hitler, the story you're telling will grow to fit the myth that surrounds that figure.

I think referring to this novel as an alternate history is perhaps misleading. The event which makes it so occurs at the very end of the novel, and we're never really given any indication of how the event changes history as we know it. And that too, is a disappointment.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, atmospheric and impossible to put down 16 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Last Stop Vienna is an odyssey through the psychology of a ruined Germany culminating in the demented mind of the man who would lead the country to total disaster. Through the experiences of Karl Naumann, a young SA man who falls in love with Hitler's star crossed niece, Nagorski shows the hypnotizing effect of Hitler's perversity on his niece, Naumann and the German people as a whole. This book is a brilliant achievement and its message that the triumph of Nazism could have been averted will stay with the reader long after he has put the book down.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book! 12 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I derive no greater reading pleasure than when I learn something while being highly entertained. Andrew Nagorski�s Last Stop Vienna is an amazing novel that manages to teach as well as engage. The rise and rule of Adolf Hitler is the most notorious tale of the twentieth century, yet how many people truly understand the dire social, economic, and political climate in 1920�s and 1930�s Germany that enabled the emergence of a man like Hitler? Perhaps better than any novelist in recent history, Nagorski does. Through the eyes of young and idealist Nazi Brownshirt, Karl Naumann, Nagorski tells a story that demonstrates in eerie and vivid detail how readily evil can rise out of desperation. Last Stop Vienna is not only a compelling book but also an important one. We live in an age where the conditions in many countries throughout the world are jarringly parallel to those of pre-World War II Germany. It would behoove us all to gain an understanding of such matters. Andrew Nagorski has provided us a great service by making it easy and enjoyable to edify his readers using his 288-page gem, Last Stop Vienna.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT 4 Jan. 2003
By Jen Senko - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book was recommended to me by my mother and to be honest, the only reason I listened to her was because I liked the cover. I'm really not a history buff but I have to say I was surprised at how much I loved Last Stop Vienna - and I learned an incredible amount. I couldn't stop reading it and, instead of skipping over the historical descriptions as I usually do, I was truly fascinated by Nagorski's ability to write so clearly and incisively, that I had a blast reading all of it! Of course, I relished the love affairs and love triangles and all the intrigue...especially when it came to Hitler's own perversions that I didn't know much about before! I wish they had added more sexual intrigue in the history courses I hated so much in college. I'm telling everyone about this book!
Jen Senko
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction At Its Finest 8 May 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Last Stop Vienna is historical fiction at its finest. It is so rare to find a journalist/historian who is also a wonderful storyteller with a masterful gift for prose. Andrew Nagorski is such a writer. He crafts a mesmerizing tale that not only entertains but educates. Nagorski's encyclopedic knowledge of a Germany ravaged by the Treaty of Versailles combined with his familiarity of character and place lends an authenticity to the novel that is both captivating and illuminating. Add to that a brilliant imagination and a lyrical ability to compose a compelling and original work of fiction from recent historical events and you have an extraordinary novel. Last Stop Vienna is a very special book by an informed and talented novelist. I recommend it highly.
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