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NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACKOne Sunday, in the late summer of 1937, an unusually violent thunderstorm swept over the mountains of the Salzkammergut Until then, Franz Huschel s life had trickled along fairly uneventfully, but this thunderstorm was to give it a sudden turn that had far reaching consequences As soon as he heard the first distant rumble of thunder, Franz ran inside the little fisherman s cottage where he lived with his mother n the village of Nussdorf am Attersee and crawled NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACKOne Sunday, in the late summer of 1937, an unusually violent thunderstorm swept over the mountains of the Salzkammergut Until then, Franz Huschel s life had trickled along fairly uneventfully, but this thunderstorm was to give it a sudden turn that had far reaching consequences As soon as he heard the first distant rumble of thunder, Franz ran inside the little fisherman s cottage where he lived with his mother n the village of Nussdorf am Attersee and crawled into bed to listen to the unearthly racket from the safety of his warm and downy cave The weather shook the hut on every side The beams groaned, the shutters banged outside, and the wooden roof shingles, thickly overgrown with moss, flapped in the storm Rain pelted against the windowpanes, driven by gusts of wind, and on the sills a few decapitated geraniums drowned in their tubs The iron Jesus on the wall above the old clothes box wobbled as if at any moment he might tear himself from his nails and leap down from the cross and from the shore of the nearby lake came the crash of fishing boats slammed against their moorings by the pounding waves When Franz is only seventeen, his mother sends him to work for an old friend of hers, Otto Trsnyek, who is a tobacconist with his own shop in Vienna with newspapers, cigarettes and all the trimmings He s only ever left the Salzkammergut twice before, and he thinks of the life he s lived here near the lake with his mother, and this new life he s poised to embark uponThis is something different , he said quietly to himself Something completely and utterly different In his mind s eye the future appeared like the line of a far distant shore materializing out of the morning fog still a little blurred and unclear, but promising and beautiful, too Trsnyek was granted the tobacconist s shop a year after the end of the First World War, where he lost his leg, and so through the compensation law for invalids, he obtained his shop He d lived there since, becoming another fixture in town.As tensions rise between the years 1937 1938, Trsnyek becomes known for serving everyone, and as banners with swastikas begin to fly downtown, those who support Hitler s agenda begin to be openly hostile He continues to serve the Jewish people there, including Dr Sigmund Freud Freud becomes somewhat of a confidant and mentor of young Franz, who becomes smitten with a young Bohemian woman who has disappeared Being uneducated in the ways of love and women, Franz turns to Freud to help him understand what he should do next A coming of age story, an ode to the wisdom of a generation who has seen it if not all, then certainlythan a boy still in his teens Unrequited love, a love story of the innocence of first love and the willingness to be all, do all for that person, that it will surely make them love you in return or break your heart A story of the ugliness of these terrorizing, terrifying acts of malice and hatred A story of those who stood by and watched, and those who were forced to leave in order to live Not that long ago, I read Seethaler s A Whole Life A Novel, which I loved, and so when I saw that this was soon to be released as a paperback, I wasthan pleased to get a copy to read With prose that is simple and profound, this story set in an atmosphere of the hatred born of one man s quest for ultimate power, where every day seemed fraught with peril Eighty years in the past, and yet this seems so very current RecommendedPub Date 05 Sept 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by House of Anansi Come away with meTo the Attersee To Vienna in 1938 the NSDAP force Jews to scrub the pavements clean of political slogans The ones they don t approve of, presumably Come away with me, young Franz says to Anezka Too late Anezka has chosen to guarantee her survival, and Franz is not the one to protect her Sigmund Freud has chosen to guarantee his survival and escapes to London Franz is left adrift in Vienna like a rudderless boat on a vast lake But 1938 is not a time that allows d Come away with meTo the Attersee To Vienna in 1938 the NSDAP force Jews to scrub the pavements clean of political slogans The ones they don t approve of, presumably Come away with me, young Franz says to Anezka Too late Anezka has chosen to guarantee her survival, and Franz is not the one to protect her Sigmund Freud has chosen to guarantee his survival and escapes to London Franz is left adrift in Vienna like a rudderless boat on a vast lake But 1938 is not a time that allows drift You have to decide if you are going to survive or not.Come away with me sings Norah Jones in her warm, soft voice Just the right mood for this delicately drawn, low key, melancholy narrative.There is a part where Franz, seventeen and hormones abuzz, was rather too obviously careening through his id phase, battling through to the super ego I got a little irritated by him for a while, as you would But there are compensations, not least his wonderfully wise mother left behind at the lakeside Die Liebe kommt und geht, und man kennt sich vorher nicht aus, und man kennt sich nachher nicht aus, und am allerwenigsten kennt man sich aus, wenn sie da ist Love comes and goes, and nobody understands it before it comes, and nobody understands it after it s gone, and the worst time to understand anything is when it s there Come away with me Salzkammergut, AustriaWhen a deliberately nay, a joyously unlikely narrative device event obliges the seventeen year old mama s boy Franz to leave the backward idyll of Salzkammergut Austria s lake region for Vienna, the painfully innocent and ignorant country bumpkin has no idea what s in store for him The date of this forced removal is significant 1937 The 1938 Anschluss of Austria into the Greater German Reich is in the offing, and Vienna is a seething stew of Nazis who already Salzkammergut, AustriaWhen a deliberately nay, a joyously unlikely narrative device event obliges the seventeen year old mama s boy Franz to leave the backward idyll of Salzkammergut Austria s lake region for Vienna, the painfully innocent and ignorant country bumpkin has no idea what s in store for him The date of this forced removal is significant 1937 The 1938 Anschluss of Austria into the Greater German Reich is in the offing, and Vienna is a seething stew of Nazis who already have the upper hand , socialists, communists, anarchists, and then all the rest who just want to live their lives in peace Not going to happen Franz becomes the apprentice of Otto Trsnjek, a tobacconist and former lover of Franz mother, and makes the acquaintance of Sigmund Freud, who lives around the corner from the shop and buys his papers and cigars there An unusual relationship forms as Franz needs advice particularly about his unfortunate love for the Bohemian variety danseuse, Anezka and Freud warms to his eager youth Franz clumsy friendliness to the old and painfully ill man draws the ire of the neighborhood Nazis who paint the shop with obscenities Just a beginning The Anschluss, Vienna, March, 1938 A poignant coming of age story in the middle of the Nazi takeover of Vienna with the focus on the small and quotidian as it is overwhelmed by enormous forces of resentment and violence This is the Austrian Robert Seethaler s b 1966 meticulously detailed focus in Der Trafikant 2012 , already available in English translation under the title The Tobacconist Because it is presented with an unusual lightness and grace of diction, unmistakable but difficult to characterize, even with a bit of wry humor, it doesn t read like the lugubrious tragedy it really is but instead is suffused with a bittersweet melancholy as one watches these appealing characters get swept one by one into the ever growing whirlpool of outside events When Franz goes down, prematurely ripened by his many losses, he leaves the reader with a small gesture of defiance, a whimsical slap in the face of the Nazis that they barely perceive but gives the reader a small measure of satisfaction I m very glad that I tried again with Seethaler I couldn t grasp the appeal of A Whole Life , because The Tobacconist is one of the few best novels I ve read this year, and very much a book for our times despite being set in 1937 8.Seventeen year old Franz Huchel s life changes for good when his mother sends him away from his quiet lakeside village to work for her old friend Otto Trsnyek, a Vienna tobacconist In Franz s mind s eye the future appeared like the line of a far distant shore mat I m very glad that I tried again with Seethaler I couldn t grasp the appeal of A Whole Life , because The Tobacconist is one of the few best novels I ve read this year, and very much a book for our times despite being set in 1937 8.Seventeen year old Franz Huchel s life changes for good when his mother sends him away from his quiet lakeside village to work for her old friend Otto Trsnyek, a Vienna tobacconist In Franz s mind s eye the future appeared like the line of a far distant shore materializing out of the morning fog still a little blurred and unclear, but promising and beautiful, too Though the First World War left him with only one leg, Trsnyek is a firebrand Instead of keeping his head down while selling his cigars and newspapers, he makes his political opinions known This sees him branded as a Jew lover and persecuted accordingly One of the Jews he dares to associate with is Sigmund Freud, who is a regular customer even though he already has throat cancer and will die just two years later.Especially after he falls in love with Anezka, a flirtatious but mercurial Bohemian girl, Franz turns to Professor Freud for life advice So I m asking you have I gone mad Or has the whole world gone mad The professor replies, yes, the world has gone mad And have no illusions, it s going to get a lot madder than this Through free indirect speech, the thought lives of the various characters, and the postcards and letters that pass between Franz and his mother, Seethaler gradually and subtly reveals the deepening worry over the rise of Hitler and the situation of the Jews This novel is so many things a coming of age story, a bittersweet romance, an out of the ordinary World War II Holocaust precursor, and a perennially relevant reminder of the importance of finding the inner courage to stand up to oppressive systems.Freud and his family had enough money and influence to buy their way to England So many did not escape Hitler s regime I knew that, but discovered it anew in this outstanding novel.Some favorite passages Dear Mother,I ve been here in the city for quite a while now, yet to be honest it seems to me that everything just gets stranger But maybe it s like that all through life from the moment you re born, with every single day, you grow a little bit further away from yourself until one day you don t know where you are anyCan that really be the way it is And asthan twenty thousand supporters bellowed their assent into the clear Tyrolean mountain air, Adolf Hitler was probably sitting beside the radio somewhere in Berlin, licking his lips Austria lay before him like a steaming schnitzel on a plate Now was the time to carve it up People were cosseting their faint hearted troubles and hadn t even noticed yet that the earth beneath their feet was burning from a letter from Mama Just imagine, Hitler hangs on the wall even in the restaurant and the school now Right next to Jesus Although we have no idea what they think of each other.Freud Most paths do at least seem vaguely familiar to me But it s not actually our destiny to know the paths Our destiny is precisely not to know them We don t come into this world to find answers, but to ask questions We grope around, as it were, in perpetual darkness, and it s only if we re very lucky that we sometimes see a little flicker of light And only with a great deal of courage or persistence or stupidity or, best of all, all three at once can we make our mark here and there, indicate the way Originally published with images on my blog, Bookish Beck More of a 2.5After all the glowing reviews here on Goodreads this was a real let down.I didn t know what to expect going in to this, but it s a pretty standard WWII story, set in Austria It s fine, that s about as glowing as I m going to get in this review The writing isn t bad, but I didn t love it as much as others.And now on to the bad First off, the character development was pretty much non existent I spent over 200 pages with Franz, the protagonist, and all I could tell you about him More of a 2.5After all the glowing reviews here on Goodreads this was a real let down.I didn t know what to expect going in to this, but it s a pretty standard WWII story, set in Austria It s fine, that s about as glowing as I m going to get in this review The writing isn t bad, but I didn t love it as much as others.And now on to the bad First off, the character development was pretty much non existent I spent over 200 pages with Franz, the protagonist, and all I could tell you about him was that he was obsessed with a young woman he met on the streets of Vienna There is really no other substance to his character at all Oh, and he likes sharing his dreams with strangers Nobody likes a dream sharer, do they Another problem I had was the portrayal of Sigmund Freud Now I don t know about anyone else but I find it weird when real life people are thrown into stories with fictional characters Something always feels a bit off about it Franz befriends Freud when he meets him as a customer of the tobacconists But I had a lot of trouble believing in their friendship Freud says supposedly profound things to Franz about love Franz is heartbroken after the girl keeps disappearing , and Franz brings him his beloved cigars in return This is pretty much the entirety of the plot in this novel There is a not very explored side plot funnily enough about the actual tobacconist , which is unfortunate as I think it could have been muchinteresting.If you re a fan of WWII stories you might like this, but there are much better ones out there My biggest disappointment was the lack of substance here It had potential for sure, but for me it didn t live up to that potential I d hesitate before picking up another book by this author Quirky and charming At times this is almost Kafkaesque in its surreal atmosphere This is a miniaturist view of world war two largely narrated through the eyes of Franz At seventeen Franz leaves his idyllic home in the Austrian lake district to work in a tobaconist s in Vienna, owned by a veteran of the first world Among the customers is Sigmund Freud Soon Franz is in need of romantic advice and he and Freud strike up a bond It is 1937 and when the Nazis gain power everything changes Under Quirky and charming At times this is almost Kafkaesque in its surreal atmosphere This is a miniaturist view of world war two largely narrated through the eyes of Franz At seventeen Franz leaves his idyllic home in the Austrian lake district to work in a tobaconist s in Vienna, owned by a veteran of the first world Among the customers is Sigmund Freud Soon Franz is in need of romantic advice and he and Freud strike up a bond It is 1937 and when the Nazis gain power everything changes Under Freud s advice Franz begins writing down his dreams His dreams though are no less incomprehensible than what s happening in his waking life The novel tackles the incomprehensibility of the Nazis A thoroughly enjoyable read Wonderful Perfect to read in these times of political upheaval Franz is a teenage boy trying to find his way in a turbulent world Austria in 1938 and he finds love and loss but also his creativity in the fragments of his dreams that he attaches to the tobacconist shop window I loved A Whole Life but think I love this story evenbecause of Franz and the social issues the story raises This is my favourite read so far this year, which I m surprised by as I didn t think anything would bea Wonderful Perfect to read in these times of political upheaval Franz is a teenage boy trying to find his way in a turbulent world Austria in 1938 and he finds love and loss but also his creativity in the fragments of his dreams that he attaches to the tobacconist shop window I loved A Whole Life but think I love this story evenbecause of Franz and the social issues the story raises This is my favourite read so far this year, which I m surprised by as I didn t think anything would beat Sebastian Barry s Days Without End *Free Pdf ⇝ El vendedor de tabaco (Narrativa) ⇲ En esta exquisita novela, Robert Seethaler autor de la exitosa Toda una vida, publicada en m s de treinta idiomas ha creado, con su concisi n y elegancia caracter sticas, un encaje literario magn ficamente resuelto en el cual un personaje hist rico relevante como Sigmund Freud interact a con el protagonista para conducirnos desde la ins lita relaci n entre dos hombres dispares hasta sumergirnos poco a poco en el creciente clima de temor y opresi n imperante en la Viena de los a os treinta, un per odo que marc de forma crucial el devenir de la Historia europeaA finales del verano de , el joven Franz Huchel abandona el agujero lluvioso de su Attersee natal para buscarse la vida en Viena, donde encuentra trabajo en un puesto de venta de diarios y tabaco en el que confluyen las clases populares y la burgues a jud a, un lugar id neo para satisfacer su deseo de comprender una realidad subyugante As pues, si bien la lectura asidua de la prensa despierta su educaci n pol tica, el momento m gico llega cuando queda torpemente prendado de Anezka, una chica tan luminosa como esquiva, reticente a ofrecerle a Franz esa experiencia que tanto anhela Sumido en la desesperaci n, el joven recurre al m dico de los locos , el mism simo Sigmund Freud, comprador habitual del puesto y empedernido fumador de puros Aunque viejo y cansado, el profesor ceder ante la tenacidad de este impulsivo y curioso chico de pueblo Pero los tiempos son inciertos y, en marzo de , el temido Anschluss, la anexi n de Austria como una provincia del Tercer Reich, segar de forma brutal el aprendizaje de Franz y su relaci n con el prestigioso doctorEl uso brillante y dosificado del humor como instrumento terap utico de una sociedad angustiada ante un futuro amenazante confirma el portentoso talento de Robert Seethaler, que no deja de seducirnos y emocionarnos con la sobriedad y la belleza de su prosa This book went from what could have been a four star read to a two star in the end I don t know, maybe I m just tired, but all the lovely writing in the world can t bring me round to a predominantly dull and plotless story with beige characters and some sort of weird insta love I much preferred Seethaler s other book translated to English, A Whole Life This one didn t quite hit the spot sadly. 2.5 5 A Whole Life was a tiny gem of a novel, so I was very excited to read The Tobacconist Sadly, it turned out to be a disappointment It s like Seethaler wasn t really sure where to go with it, so it ended up being neither here nor there.