Badenheim 1939
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Badenheim 1939

3.3 3
by Aharon Appelfeld
     
 

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It is the spring of 1939. In months Europe will be Hitler's, and Badenheim, a resort town vaguely in the orbit of Vienna, is preparing for its annual summer season. Soon the vacationers arrive, as they always have, a sample of Jewish middle-class life. The story unfolds as a matter-of-factly as a Chekhov play, its characters so deeply held by their defensive

Overview

It is the spring of 1939. In months Europe will be Hitler's, and Badenheim, a resort town vaguely in the orbit of Vienna, is preparing for its annual summer season. Soon the vacationers arrive, as they always have, a sample of Jewish middle-class life. The story unfolds as a matter-of-factly as a Chekhov play, its characters so deeply held by their defensive trivia that they manage to misconstrue every signal of their fate, until these signals take on the lineaments of disaster.

"The writing flows seamlessly...a small masterpiece."

Irving Howe, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"As real as Kafka's unnamed Prague...imbued with a Watteau-like melancholy."

Gabriel Annan, NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

"Magical...gliding from a kind of romantic realism into universal allegory."

Peter Prescott, NEWSWEEK

"The sorcery of Badenheim 1939 [lies in] the success with which the author has concocted a drab narrative involving rather ordinary characters and made their experienced profoundly symbolic yet never hollow."

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, NEW YORK TIMES

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
First published in 1980, Appelfeld's novel depicts a small town outside Vienna whose usual summer vacationers, middle-class Jews, find themselves held prisoner at their own resort on the eve of WWII. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Set in the resort town of Badenheim, Austria, Appelfeld's 1980 novel offers a bevy of wealthy Jewish characters who refuse to believe the Nazis mean them harm, even after they are loaded into cattle cars for a one-way trip to Poland (LJ 12/1/80).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781567923919
Publisher:
Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2009
Pages:
148
Sales rank:
850,712
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

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Badenheim 1939 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I would ignore the other review here. What makes this book so powerful and so horrifying is not descriptions of gruesome deaths at the hands of the Nazis, nor descriptions of inhumane conditions of concentration camps, etc. It is the 'unsaid' that makes this book so haunting. This story gives a different perspective of the Holocaust, one that everyone can relate to and one that makes what is happening to these characters all the more real. I highly recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
the book lacks any description of any suffering. it portrays one of the most inhumane events, yet fails to mention suffering at all. this is a disgrace and a trivialization of all the heros who were slaughtered in the concentration camps, (may they rest in peace)