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The Emperor's Tomb (Works of Joseph Roth) Paperback – September 1, 2002
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
All of this is presented in exquisite prose and imagery that captures delicate emotional nuances and historical events. Joseph Roth accomplishes more in just a few pages than most writers do in a hundred. He was a great artist, a literary giant, whose genius I hope will be fully recognized in the coming years.
Certain differences leap out right away. First, this "novel" is considerably shorter than The Radetzky March. Second, this novel is written in the first person, from the point of view of Franz Ferdinand von Trotta. Third, the language is considerably more colloquial than the more formal structure Roth used in the previous novel. Everything contributes to what feels like a more casual experience than The Radetzky March.
Still, Roth has a lot to say about the experience of pre- and post-Great War Austrians. Von Trotta, the narrator of the story, is a pretentious young man hanging out in the coffee shops of Vienna completely unprepared for the experience of war he will soon face. He sees little fighting, however, as he is captured early and spends the bulk of the war as a prisoner in Russia. Returning to his wife (with whom he never consummated his marriage) and mother, he finds a world he no longer understands through which he must find his way.
I am always fascinated how so many things we only consider "modern" problems crop up in these old stories. The intriguing lesbianism Trotta's wife engages in during his absence is one example. The vanity and conning of Trotta's elderly mother is another. It amazes me how we can read a novel like this and see how little human nature changes over the decades.Read more ›
It is quite a bleak book in many ways - and reminds me of the world Beckett creates in Waiting for Godot. There is an inevitability in the fall and no action could have prevented it.
The language used (at least in this translation) is minimal and strips to the bone images - making those that remain quite haunting. One which has remained with me for several days is the image of violets blooming from the bones of dead men.
Certainly a great, if troubling, book.
Roth had promised his publisher a much longer work. It was a promise he was unable to fulfill. He was, by that time, in poor health, in debt, and an alcoholic. It is hardly a wonder then that “The Emperor’s Tomb” feels rather fragmentary, a fine story but one filled with odd holes and unexpected gaps.
Yet curiously, what ordinarily would be flaws seem to add a distinctive tone. Even at this late stage Roth’s talent remained extraordinary; less somehow turned into more. And even as there are melancholy and intensely sad moments in the work, it contains an equal amount of rich color and sparkling humor.
The disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian empire which meant so much to Roth, the resulting decline of the aristocratic Trottas, the central figures in both books, and his own deterioration, all meld together.
The story, in life as in fiction, was not a happy one. This is far from a perfect book. But Roth’s singular style and inimitable gift as a chronicler of the age gave it life and made it both moving and memorable.
A small irritation requires noting. The publisher has added a windy “Translator’s Introduction” at the beginning of the book. It is best read after the book is finished, or not at all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Joseph Roth’s output is uneven. There is the novel THE RADETSKY MARCH, which is probably a masterpiece. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ethan Cooper
A late sequel to The Radetzky March, this short novel concerns a cadet, but not ennobled branch of the Trotta family. Read morePublished 2 months ago by James Connelly
A moving if brief sequel to the radetsky march, that marvelous work. together these are a great experience.Published 11 months ago by Deep Reader
This book, like Rolfes read that ski March, which I also read on my Kindle and Kindle apps, is for those of us who are fascinated by pre-and post 1914 Vienna. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
Beautiful sequel to an amazing book. It's a dark decent into the parallel fall of the once great Austrian Empire along with the protagonists life. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Michael Rodgers
If you have read The Radetsky March you will find this book thin, unfinished and altogether a putting together of outtakes and scraps from his finest novel. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Elizabeth W. Schmid
Like the author's masterpiece, The Radetzky March, this short book finds a rich seam of material in the dying days of the Hapsburg Empire, although this book also covers post-war... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mark Clegg
Beautifully written by an old master. I loved it and also its precursor The Radetzky March. He writes so simply but you cant put it down for long.Published on July 20, 2014 by Julie Wyer
Joseph Roth is a relatively unknown German writer from the 1930s or thereabouts. I prefer The Radetsky March. It's not what you think. Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Suzanne M. Wheat