Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Product of a master craftsman..., 19 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Post Office Girl (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I must come clean, I'd never read anything by Stefan Zweig (or even heard of him) before I picked up this novel. On finishing it, I methodically hunted down everything he ever wrote and I have them all stacked next to my bed, awaiting devourment.

Zweig's language is beautifully poetic, even in translation the symmetry and deftness of his phrasing is striking. But what really drew me in, even beyond the language, was the deceptively simple story and how Zweig uses a delicate fable to say so much.

One of the major themes of the novel is metamorphosis, and how people adapt to change itself. Christine's exposure to a world of splendour far beyond her wildest dreams leaves her unable to cope with the harshness of reality when she finds her temporary idyll pulled out from under her. It seems like Zweig is saying beware too much happiness, beware the pain that remembered happiness can inflict. It's a bit like George Bernard Shaw's quote on the two great tragedies in life - losing your heart's desire, and gaining it.

There's a poignant sense of loss running through the novel, and in many ways it reads as a wistful meditation on a lost era, and even an entire lost generation. Zweig's pacifism is plain, and he clearly demonstrates how the great poison of war can trickle down and infect the lives of ordinary people many years after the last explosion or gunshot. For Zweig, the destruction of innocence and hope doesn't end, and can't be healed, with armistice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Apr 2012 09:25:34 BDT
V. R. Bell says:
I agree with the analysis. But I am more critical of the novel. I devoured Stefan Zweig's books when I was young, but this one left me disappointed. I understand where the author is coming from, having lost his prewar life in Vienna, particularly in the 30's with the rize of Nazism. However, one is not in very good company with Christine. She seems totally absorbed by her situation, which in those days where shared by many. She does so to an extent that she forgets her mother who has sacrificed herself for her. She doesn't show any kind of gratitude either to her aunt and uncle when they treat her to the most fabulous experience of her life. Afterwards the only thing Christine and later Ferdinand can do is complain. A big question mark should of course be posed when it comes the morality of the ending. The book leaves you with the feeling of having spent time with some very egoistic people with no regard for others.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›