- File Size: 1023 KB
- Print Length: 298 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1492391719
- Publication Date: October 10, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00FSBW2L6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,373 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Black Eagle Inn (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 3) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. He now lives in the UK.http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/ http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/
The Luck of the WeissensteinersIn the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 the daughter of a Jewish weaver falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner seemingly settles in with her in-laws but the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draw the visible and invisible borders. The political climate of the disintegrating Czechoslovakian state and personal conflicts make relations between the couple and the families more complex. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after. What makes this book so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social status, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck. Amazon: http://bookshow.me/B00AFQC4QC Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8 Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395
SebastianSebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love. Sebastian, his extended family and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna, the times of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear. Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era. Amazon: http://bookshow.me/B00CLL1UY6 Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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The back story starts at the beginning of the century, even before the Great War. Anna Stockmann, nee Hinterberger, one of the central figures in this novel, grows up to be a very unusual girl--she has a firm grasp of business and a Machiavellian mind, that allows her to outmaneuver her siblings, even her older brother, when the time came to inherit. To my mind, her story is one of the most interest in seeing how people change through their lives. I would even go so far as to say that her life is an allegory of the old Germany, it mirrors it so closely.
While Anna has ho children of her own, some of her siblings procreate prodigiously, and from those offspring, a new generation of the family, who will play an important role in bringing this story to a conclusion, appears.
Just naming all of the characters would take much of the place for which this review allows. Suffice it to say, this book is a family epic. And when I say "epic," I really mean it. We tend to think of kings and queens, noblemen and their flock, as required to create that "epic" feel to the story. What Christoph Fischer has done is truly remarkable: he took a regular German family and gave us a book with enough plotting, machinations, politics, and intrigue to rival any of the books that concern royalty and then some. Betrayals and ambitions, loyalties and self interests are all mixed together in a constantly changing scene of the narrative without letting go.
However, and as "Howevers" go, this is a big one: This is a book about Germany and her people. While I see Anna as an allegory for the country, her family is the representation of the German people: they can be industrious, which goes without saying; selfish and selfless, self absorbed and carrying, pious and liberal, absorbed in politics and neutral, scheming and naïve. As generations change in the family, we can also trace the changes in the German people. The later parts that of the book that describe Maria's (Anna's niece) marriage and its consequences and Marcus's (Anna's nephew) finally starting to accept himself as a homosexual really underline the changes that the after-war Germany went through and the struggles the country had to face before becoming the modern Germany we know today.
What makes this book unique, is the time period in which the book is set. Most historical novels deal with the "juicier" timelines that involve wars and upheavals, unrest and suffering. While this novel has that as well, of main interest are the other parts that concern the pre- and post-war Germany, and its gradual, grudging transformation through the generations of people who lived through it and built that country.
"The Black Eagle Inn (The Three Nations Trilogy)" by Christoph Fischer is a really great historical novel in best traditions of James A. Michener and Errol Lincoln Uys, that delivers a historical narrative through character exploration; a fascinating journey into a less-explored territory. Highly recommended.
This is imaginatively achieved by the nice blend of characters that stagnate refusing to grow in spite of life offering them great opportunities to do so as well as characters that grow, either by experience or example. The subtleties and blunt ways of attacking each other as members of a dysfunctional family are clever and easy to visualize.
The wide diversity infused in the small town setting through the historical periods is ingeniously woven by allowing some characters to grow through experiences in other cities or countries as well as by the international influence of the `foreign' elements, through visitors to the BLACK EAGLE INN or the flow of immigration through the various changes in Europe before during and after WWII, and well into the Cold War.
As the book covers a large time period it addresses historical attitudes to prejudice of all kinds, from the Jews, to women's rights as well as prejudice to Muslims with its strongest note to homophobia.
My favorite character was Markus; as a reader he took me in a journey of understanding success and failure. The possibility of redemption when feelings run deep and there is the presence of love and forgiveness. I also found the development of the character's journey trying to accept his truth, while battling the religious beliefs that made his very nature a sin a very believable one. It was very interesting to have a story that combined how society sees homosexuality through various time periods as well as how Markus learns to balance and accept who he is.
Emotions; positive and negative run deep at THE BLACK EAGLE INN. Rivalries make sense and the Karmic wallop to those who deeply deserve it made for a most enjoyable ending. I am a big Fan of Christoph Fischer and now that he has so nicely wrapped his Three Nation Trilogy and entered the realms of modern times, I am most curious as to what he will write next. BRAVO and well done!
Top international reviews
The book chronicles the fortunes of a family farm and associated restaurant - The Black Eagle Inn - through the war and the difficult years that followed in a nation struggling to rebuild and come to terms with a new identity. While set in this turbulent period of history, the story focuses more on the wars inside The Black Eagle Inn rather than out. Backstabbing, petit politics and mind games are all waged within the same four walls.
Most of these games are fought between cousins Markus and Lukas, the former being matriarch Anna's favourite "son", who stands to inherit the most when she dies. But Lukas's determination to get a bigger slice of the family estate transforms from silly squabbles between children as he and Markus grow older.
The book cuts deep inside the minds of all the key characters. I have read many books that try to throw completely different characters together that have failed, but The Black Eagle Inn is not among that tally. The author really gets inside his character's heads and plays out their thought processes to the readers, offering a deep understanding of the events or the emotions that have led them to where they are.
The author should also be applauded for examining controversial themes of the time, like homosexuality and marriage to foreigners. A lot of books set in post war Europe, I have found, tend to shy away from such themes, which is disappointing. It's also great to read a book set in Germany as well - most war/ post war novels are usually set in merry old England.
This book begins before the First World War and finishes in the 1980s. It follows the fortunes and misfortunes of one family through several generations. These characters are very real and their stories are totally absorbing. We journey through the wars in Europe, politics, homosexuality and cross-cultural marriage, all issues which cause great controversy for this family.
The thing I loved most about this story were the people. They are totally believable and are so varied. It was like reading about a real family, so much so, that I had to remind myself on several occasions that this was a work of fiction.
The skeleton of the story is a family saga headed by the matriarch, Anna, who symbolically cannot produce heirs to continue the greed and callousness that has been the foundation of their success as an important farming institution and owners of the respectable Black Eagle Inn. Human relationships and tolerance are placed on the back burner to maintain the upkeep of their estates and social standing.
The author depicts the narrow-mindedness of small town attitudes of this troubled era but he also offers a strong positive message that takes the form of a widespread social guilt for Germany’s past crimes towards humanity. Yet the redemptive trend is still a work in progress – the hatred of Jews is transferred in part to the intolerance of Muslims – homosexuality is legalized but tolerated only from afar – women are at the beginning stage in their march towards acceptance as equal partners.
Anna’s legacy cannot continue; her family members must either join the movement towards compassion and acceptance or fall by the wayside. A strong, clear message is unfolded in this well-crafted last instalment. Without a doubt, a very powerful read.