Utz by Bruce Chatwin
Look inside with Google Book Preview
By Bruce Chatwin


By (author) See other recent books by Bruce Chatwin
Format: Paperback

Normal Price: $18.41
Your Price: $16.57 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $1.84! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $0.83 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available, ships in 10-12 days

Utz by Bruce Chatwin

Book Description

Bruce Chatwin's bestselling novel traces the fortunes of the enigmatic and unconventional hero, Kaspar Utz. Despite the restrictions of Cold War Czechoslovakia, Utz asserts his individuality through his devotion to his precious collection of Meissen porcelain. Although Utz is permitted to leave the country each year, and considers defecting each time, he is not allowed to take his porcelain with him and so he always returns to his Czech home, a prisoner both of the Communist state and of his collection.

Buy Utz book by Bruce Chatwin from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780099770015
ISBN-10: 0099770016
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 10mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 8-Jan-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Bruce Chatwin

Visit to Don Otavio by Bruce Chatwin Visit to Don Otavio, Paperback / softback (June 2016)

Originaly published: London: Gollancz, 1953.

Under The Sun by Bruce Chatwin Under The Sun, Paperback (September 2011)

Bruce Chatwin is one of the most significant British novelists and travel writers of our time. Comprising material collected from hundreds of contacts across five continents, this title includes Chatwin's letters that are a valuable record of one of the greatest and most enigmatic writers of the twentieth century.

Songlines by Bruce Chatwin Songlines, Paperback (May 2001)

Part adventure story, part philosophical essay, this extraordinary book takes Bruce Chatwin into the heart of Australia on a search for the source and meaning of man's restless nature.

» View all books by Bruce Chatwin


UK Kirkus Review » Utz, a porcelain collector, lives in a very troubled Prague where man is not in control of his life but subject to political events. Utz deals with the situation by creating his own alternative world - that of his Meissen figures, which retain their purity and beauty while the surrounding world decays. A Booker-shortlisted novel, rich in ideas. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Wispier than any of Chatwin's previous books (In Patagonia, The Songlines), this new "novel" attempts to twirl an anecdotal sliver of biographical journalism into a psycho-social meditation on art-collecting. . .with mildly intriguing, rather precious results. Chatwin, in 1967 Prague to research the subject of"compulsive" collecting, eagerly goes to meet Kaspar Joachim Utz, owner of a spectacular hoarding of Meissen porcelain. Talking to the old collector, and to mutual acquaintances, Chatwin assembles the basic Utz bio: semi-aristocratic background (Czech-German-Jewish); a childhood porcelain obsession, which consoled him after his father's heroic death in WW I; an adulthood of asexual eccentricity, Nazi collaboration (saving Jewish friends by helping Goering's art-looting squad), and constant collecting. The postwar years, under Communist rule, are sketched in somewhat more detail: Utz vacationed annually in Vichy during the Fifties, yearning to defect, but was always pulled back to Prague - by homesickness, by his odd attachment to longtime housekeeper Marta. Also embedded in Chatwin's chats with Utz are digressions into related history: the Jewish legends of golem-making (like art-collecting, a "sinful" form of "idolatry"); the 1710 invention of porcelain by an alchemist. And finally, after Utz's death in 1974, Chatwin returns to Prague, learns more about the collector's private life (his real relationship with Marta), and wonders what happened to that vast collection, now mysteriously vanished. (Smuggled abroad? Destroyed? "Is there, alongside the tendency to worship images - which Baudelaire called 'my unique, my primitive passion' - a counter-tendency to smash them to bits?") Chatwin pokes half-heartedly at some provocative notions here: the relationship between loving art and loving people; the role of an art-lover in a repressive state; collecting as psychopathology. But the themes are far less richly developed than were the ones in The Songlines or even The Viceroy of Ouidah. And Utz's skeletal life-story never takes on either the texture of full-blooded fiction or the resonant bounce of fable. Overall, then: a magazine-article masquerading as a novella, stylishly done up but awfully thin. (Kirkus Reviews)

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Utz book by Bruce Chatwin and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review

Author Biography - Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin was born in Sheffield in 1940. After attending Marlborough School he began work as a porter at Sotheby's. Eight years later, having become one of Sotheby's youngest directors, he abandoned his job to pursue his passion for world travel. Between 1972 and 1975 he worked for the Sunday Times, before announcing his next departure in a telegram: 'Gone to Patagonia for six months.' This trip inspired the first of Chatwin's books, In Patagonia, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the E.M.Forster Award and launched his writing career. Two of his books have been made into feature films: The Viceroy of Ouidah (retitled Cobra Verde), directed by Werner Herzog, and Andrew Grieve's On the Black Hill. On publication The Songlines went straight to No.1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list and remained in the top ten for nine months. On the Black Hill won the Whitbread First Novel award while his novel Utz was nominated for the 1988 Booker prize. He died in January 1989, aged forty-eight.

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Bruce Chatwin close
Songlines: Moleskine Special Edition by Bruce Chatwin
Visit to Don Otavio by Bruce Chatwin
Under The Sun by Bruce Chatwin
Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
Viceroy of Ouidah by Bruce Chatwin
Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
What am I Doing Here? by Bruce Chatwin
BoomerangBooks.com.au close