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The Emperor's Coloured Coat: In Which Otto Prohaska, Hero of the Habsburg Empire, Has an Interesting Time While Not Quite Managing to Avert the First World War (The Otto Prohaska Novels) Paperback – May 1, 2006
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Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a real treat. I enthusiastically recommend it.
In this book, really a prequel to the first, Prohaska is bumped around first Austria as a sailor assigned to an older battle cruiser, then the fledgling air force, then the staff of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, then a river monitor on the Serb border - and suddenly he is involved in the conspiracy to murder the Archduke, the attempted prevention of which then leads him headlong across the world to the China station. Prohaska's long and dangerous journey back home sees him and his small crew encountering a variety of threats to life and limb from storms at sea to headhunters to corrupt officials to a ship of religious fools to you name it; the trip is worthy of Odysseus himself.
Besides the narration of the story, in which he writes better, funnier, and more smoothly than in his first Prohaska book, Biggins gives us details on weaponry, alliance politics, on-board procedure, and technical stuff, and here the book excels. It is a pleasure to learn some of the more arcane bits and pieces in the way they are here related, where otherwise it would make for exceedingly dry reading.
Finally, a part of Biggins' point in writing these books seems to be that, as much as was wrong with Europe and Austria-Hungary in particular in the time running up to WWI, the destruction of the world order in which Austria still figured as a major part did nothing to advance the welfare of mankind.Read more ›
If you enjoyed 'Sailor of Austria' you will enjoy 'The Emperor's Coloured Coat'. The events in this second book actually preceed those in the Sailor of Austria as our man Otto finds himself tumbling across Central Europe and the follies of the soon-to-be-no-more Austro-Hungarian Empire. He finds himself in one troublesome spot after another - like being shot out of the air by a blast from the hunting rifle of the...well, read it and find out! Good news is usually a sign of bad news just ahead.
It's exciting to see the renewed interest in John Biggins' works, which were hardly big sellers when first published in 1991 but are now being brought back by McBooks Press. Discovering Biggins has been one of those great unexpected experiences that come along only rare even to devoted readers.
The writing is really first-rate and so is the story. Highest recommendation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this and the whole series to date enthralling. My nose was buried in the tale from first page to the last and the historical background is, I believe, impeccable. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. D. Pruett
A wonderful account of the maritime life in the Austrian navy and events that led up to The Great War.Published 21 months ago by LS
I stumbled on this author while reading a review of some other book and thought I'd give him a chance. What a GEM!. Read morePublished on July 4, 2014 by John A. Lefcourte
part of the otto prohaska seris by john biggins, an interesting story about life as an officer in the austro Hungarian navy before
and during world war one.
A good tour of some aspects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the last years before the Great War. There were rather too many adventures, predicaments, and wild coincidences to be... Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by Larry J. Elmore
Military incompetence, bureaucratic bungling, forbidden liaisons, shadowy dealings, and traveling without pants delivered with humor and drama. Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by 1gewehr