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The Radetzky March is subtle and touching study of family life at the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Writing in the traditional form of the family saga, Roth nevertheless manages to bring to his story a completely individual manner which gives at the same time the detailed and intimate portrait of a life and the wider panorama of a failing dynasty. Not yet well known in English-speaking countries, Joseph Roth is one of the most distinguished Austrian writers of our century, worthy to be bracketed with Musil and Kraus.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781857151978
ISBN-10: 1857151976
Format: Hardback
(211mm x 25mm x 134mm)
Pages: 332
Imprint: Everyman's Library
Publisher: Everyman
Publish Date: 12-Sep-1996
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » This famous study of the failing Hapsburg Empire, first published in 1932, is centred round three generations of a loyal military family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Joseph Trotta, a young infantry lieutenant, saves the life of the Kaiser, and changes the course of his family's history. Decorated by the Kaiser and raised to captain's rank, Joseph becomes so splendid an officer that he loses touch with his roots; his paymaster father and peasant grandfather seem like another species to him. Trotta's deeds are immortalized in a children's reading book but so inaccurate is the tale that he resigns in protest. Discharged from the army as a Baron, he ages rapidly and spends his days tending his father-in law's garden. His son Captain Franz von Trotta and grandson Carl Joseph continue the family tradition of unquestioning loyalty to the Emperor, abiding by the outmoded rules and codes of behaviour of a passing age. Carl especially feels displaced and not true officer material despite the gorgeous trappings and privileges that accompany high rank. His love affairs are with other soldiers' wives as he has little social life and no social skills, and his interaction with fellow officers and his servant is equally strained. This is a moving story of the purposelessness and inadequacy engendered by the loss of ideals, and an absorbing journey through pre-war German history. Roth's descriptions of people and nature are excellently crafted and humanity is displayed here in all its myriad forms. A true classic. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » A background that should provide color and romance, a story that should be swift moving and entertaining - and yet the result is disappointing. Here is a story not during the long reign of Francis Joseph of Austria, concerned with three generations in a family made famous by the exploit of the grandfather in saving the life of the young emperor at Solferino. The part that tradition plays in the development of the three men, grandfather, father and son, is the connecting link in the tale. Civil life and military life in Austria's gay capital, abortive love affairs, slightly burlesqued pictures of army routine, the provinces during leave - a varied picture, one that has deeper significance than the story itself, which seems a trifle long winded and lacking in vitality. (Kirkus Reviews)


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