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Historical fiction (and the like) centered on Vienna?

Hi Stevesers

Will do a little stop in Vienna on this Summer's Europe trip. Will be bringing a school chum of my daughter. Said school chum is a big reader. She reads nearly exclusively historical fiction and doesn't have a lot of interest in other things.

So I'm trying to work out some historical fiction novels for her that center on Vienna and/or the Hapsburg empire. These of course don't need to be fiction strictly speaking, but they do need to have a lot of the popular fiction plot-driven aspects that make historical fiction popular with its readers.

12 years old going on 13. Very smart and a high academic achiever. It would be good I think to keep the sex to a minimum.

Any ideas? Thank you!

Posted by
738 posts

Have a look at the reviews for two books written by Dan Vyleta - The Quiet Twin & The Crooked Maid - both set in Vienna. I found the stories to be both compelling and graphic, but I can't remember if they would qualify as historically accurate.

Also, rent the movie The Third Man, it's a classic.

Posted by
8 posts

I know of historical detective fiction set in late 1800’s Vienna. Written by Frank Tallis they are the Lieberman detective series. A good bit of Vienna history is included in the plots. A TV series was recently made with this character.

Posted by
3460 posts

I must confess , I don't like historical fiction for the most part , I like my history neat . I will admit that for a precocious twelve year old , I certainly wouldn't be negative about it . Anything that gets your attention at that age is a big step in the right direction . Two novels by Frederic Morton would be ideal - " Thunder at Twilight " and " A Nervous Splendor " will fit the bill . Very worthwhile are the novellas and short stories of the Viennese authors , Arthur Schnitzler and Stefan Zweig . As far as films . " The Third Man " is a classic as periscope says . Another film , based on a Stefan Zweig story is " Letter From an Unknown Woman " ( 1948 ) Set in Fin de Siècle Vienna ( 1900 ) .this film is a classic I wasn;t much older than your young guest when I first saw this , and have probably watched it more times than I can count . It's here in a beautiful 4K restoration - https://youtu.be/sLTBYaKfbLY It has Spanish subtitles , but those can be disabled EDIT - I should also note that this a love story , but there is nothing overtly descriptive in it

Posted by
3460 posts

The series cak2974 refer to is entitled " Vienna Blood " now in its second incarnation on PBS . It is quite good with spectacular cinematography of places in Vienna ( notably , The Otto Wagner Psychiatric Hospital , on the outskirts of the city ) but be aware the stories are a bit bizarre , shall I say , and being told in a somewhat non - linear fashion , can be somewhat abstract .

Posted by
7613 posts

A Nervous Splendor — what a wonderful book, Steven. Makes me want to re-read it (too bad my copy is in Oklahoma in a storage unit along with most of my other Mitteleuropa books.

Posted by
271 posts

You people are great, suggestions much appreciated :-)

Posted by
3460 posts

Hank , Having done a little digging , I found an online reproduction of an English translation of the first Schnitzler story I read when I was thirteen . In a collection of short stories by writers from all parts of the world , it still occupies a prominent place in my library .. A touching tale , of bittersweet memories , I hope you will pass this along to your young travel companion , " Blumen " ( " Flowers " ) 1894 - http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Schnitzler,+Arthur/Erz%C3%A4hlungen/Blumen If it comes up in German , right click to get Translate to English

Posted by
12898 posts

Yes, one of the episodes of "Vienna Blood" takes place at Schloss Laxenburg with the Bosnian Crisis of 1908-09 as the historical backdrop in which Max saves the day by throwing the bomb into the water, thus saving the lives of the Russians and the Austrians.

Another site for an outing from Vienna...Schloß Laxenburg....piqued my interest.

Posted by
4690 posts

How about The Hare with the Amber Eyes? The Little Book by Selden Edwards was also a good, clever read.