Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Reading Material for Prague, Budapest and Vienna? (

Geo.Lo Mar 19th, 2001 10:20 AM

Reading Material for Prague, Budapest and Vienna?
Hi, ya'll. We're contemplating a three week journey to these cities. I'm looking for reading material. I've read Kalfa, Kindera and Jaraslav Hasek. Does anyone have further suggestions? I'm particularily hoping for something "lowbrow", like a historical romance novel, Michner style read or multi-generational family saga set in this area of the world. Thank you to anyone who comes up with something!

Geo.Lo Mar 19th, 2001 01:50 PM

I meant I've read Milan Kundera, not Kindera. I'm at work and have to type fast before the man sees!

xxx Mar 19th, 2001 01:56 PM

Since you mentioned Michener, there's Bridge at Andau by James Michener. However, it's actually not a Michener-style book. It is short and not fun, about the Hungarian revolt in 1956.

Heather Mar 19th, 2001 02:28 PM

How 'bout movies? Not lowbrow, but even quicker than a "quick read". "The Third Man" is one of my favorite moves and is set in post-WWII Vienna. Great screenplay and cinematography plus you get to see Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten give stellar performances. <BR> <BR>Also, a movie I've wanted to see is "Sunshine", a multi-generational (fits one of your criteria at least) drama released in 1999 (I believe). Ralph Fiennes stars and Istvan Szabo directs. My memory is fuzzy, but I believe that Szabo wrote the screenplay loosely based upon his family history of the trials of a Jewish family trying to integrate in Hungary.

wes fowler Mar 19th, 2001 03:26 PM

If you really want some background into the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a wealth of historical detail dating from the 1840s to post WWI, look to Edward Crankshaw's The Fall of the House of Habsburg. In a lighter vein and equally intriguing check out Frederic Morton's "A Nervous Splender". While it deals with only one year (1888-89)and has its emphasis on life in Vienna, you'll witness the tragic murder/suicide at Mayerling and the emergence of Freud, Empress Elisabeth, Emperor Franz Joseph, Mahler, Klimt, Schnitzler and Bruckner. A fascinating read and a good introduction into the world of the former empire amd its eminent citizens.

jhm Mar 19th, 2001 03:27 PM

Sunshine definitely fits your criteria for Hungary -- very good movie. <BR> <BR>I'd also recommend the Raoul Wallenberg story (very dramatic, has been written/turned into TV shows/films by tons of people)-- a Swedish diplomat who singlehandedly helped hundreds of Hungarian Jews escape the Nazis.

Art Mar 19th, 2001 04:04 PM

I second the Raoul Wallenberg story. The book is named Righteous Gentile. I can get the publisher and ISBN if you like as I have the book at home. He saved into the thousands of Hungarian Jews escape the Nazis. Well written and very interesting but not fiction.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:41 AM.