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A Sailor of Austria: A Novel (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Mai 1994

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe
  • Verlag: Palgrave Macmillan; Auflage: Reprint (Mai 1994)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0312105347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312105341
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 3,2 x 15,2 x 22,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.452.392 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"Stark realism and finely crafted humor... use of narration, his thorough knowledge, and good technical details make this novel compelling reading."  —Library Journal

"Biggins writes with a fine sense of the sea and a truly marvelous wit."  —Booklist
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

John Biggins came across photos of the Austro-Hungarian submarine service in 1987. He subsequently wrote the four-book Otto Prohaska series, a cult classic with literary flair and an ironic twist. A native of England, Biggins currently lives in the Netherlands.
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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Format: Taschenbuch
The book deserves an extra star for just the genre because every story, regardless if in literature or in film, that tells something new or has a new idea is certainly worth reading it. I have read many books about WWI, submarines and war itself and Sailor of Austria is a very fine story about a submarine captain in service of the Austrian fleet in WWI.

I was very impressed by the background like the description of the old monarchy or the ways the kuk-Navy worked. The author really did his homework. The story tells not only about the main characters. It tells about the life in that time and on board of a submarine and this very accurately. I did not find a single mistake and one has to know the area and time very well to realize how fragile and primitive these first submarines really were.

The style of the book is intersting and amusing. The main character is a little like Indiana Jones on a submarine:-) There are a few spelling mistakes since some german words are used like Marinegefangen(en)haus (navyprison) and the german alphabet has 3 letters more but thats only relevant to a native speaker and even then only minor.

Everybody who likes to read historical or military literature will enjoy this novel!

There is however one reason for only 4 stars. The book is somehow racist. I understand that the author tried to describe the situation and the people of the pre WW1 age but still he overdid it. It was sure an area of nationalism and especially in the war a lot of rivalries were quelling up but the author wrote very condescending about Poles and Croats and he insulted Hungarians multiple times. I admit Hungary was the agricultural part of the monarchy and Transylvania is even today very underdeveloped but there are lines for mothern authors to respect.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 51 Rezensionen
30 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Rescue John Biggins From Undeserved Obscurity! 16. Februar 2007
Von Douglas S. Wood - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
In 'Sailor of Austria', John Biggins introduced Otto Prohaska, captain of an Austro-Hungarian submarine during the Great War. The tale is told from Prohaska's perspective as a 100-year old resident of a nursing home in rural Wales. Surprised by the interest of a young worker at the home, Prohaska sets about recording his story. This 'looking back' perspective allows a modern sardonic narrative voice somewhat in the manner of Thomas Berger's Little Big Man.

The manner of telling is reminiscent of George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman: A Novel (Flashman), as others have remarked, but darker. At times the book is laugh-out-loud funny - particularly early in the book when the dire consequences of a submarine crew fed on rotten cabbage stew leads to a serendipitous result. Biggins gives the reader a convincing sense of life and death aboard the absurdly primitive WW I submarines.

As the book moves into the later stages of the war, humor takes a backseat and tragedy takes center stage. Biggins' remarkable description of the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire puts the reader amidst the shock and utter chaos of a crumbling world. And then the Spanish Flu makes its entrance.

It's exciting to see the renewed interest in John Biggins works, which were hardly big sellers when first published in 1991 but are now being brought back by McBooks Press. I was only recently put on to Biggins over on LibraryThing and the discovery's been one of those great unexpected experiences that come along only rare even to devoted readers.

Help rescue John Biggins from undeserved obscurity. The writing is really first-rate and so is the story. Highest recommendation.
22 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Brilliant Debut 24. August 1999
Von A. Ross - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Wonderful debut historical novel set in the Austro-Hungarian Empire circa WWI. The book is presented as the memoirs of a Polish Czech who served in the royal navy as a submarine commander. The bulk of the book focuses on his exploits in the fledgling submarine corps patrolling the Adriatic. Biggins is masterful at depicting the cramped life and sketchy technology of the earliest submarines. The detailed descriptions of combat are as gripping and engaging as anything in "The Hunt for Red October", with the added bonus that Biggins can actually write. It is a very strong historical novel which manages to depict a confusing time and place with total believability. Highly recommended for those interested in Central Europe circa WWI and those interested in military history. Followed by The Emperor's Coloured Coat and The Two-Headed Eagle.
16 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An extremely engaging story 16. Dezember 2000
Von W. Wedenoja - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Ignore the Kirkus Review and see what readers have to say. This is an extraordinary book. I read it perhaps two years ago, but it is unforgettable. One of the most enjoyable reads I've ever had. And a most unusual story. The life of a submariner in the Austro-Hungarian navy in the first world war? I think I learned a lot (the author is a scholar specializing in the history of that region) and it was a terribly amusing but realistic tale. I loaned it to a colleague with a love for sea stories, and he read it immediately and voraciously and was upset to find it was out-of-print as he wanted to send copies to friends. I rarely read books twice, but this is one I'd like to return to again and again.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Outstanding! 31. Mai 2006
Von John A Lee III - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Most naval fiction is Napoleonic. Most of what's left is of the US and can range from the American Revolution to modern times. That takes care of about 95% of all that is out there. Most of the rest falls into a few types as well but this book is completely different. Little is ever written of the First World War and even less is ever written of Austria. When you have a story that involves Austrian U boats in the First World War, you know you have found something very different from average. This is such a book. Even better, it is interesting and well written.

The books is a reminiscence of Otto Prohaska, an officer of the Habsburg monarchy. U Boats are still fairly new and are considered experimental. Otto does a good job of proving the technology and has a series of adventures in doing so. One of these involves trying to transport a live camel on a U Boat. The book has a sense of humor. It brings out some little known information about a neglected part of a seldom written of war. It is outstanding all around.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Simply a great read 7. Juli 1998
Von horemheb@aussiemail.com.au - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
One of my favourite novels of the past decade. I think I've read it more than a dozen times and the appeal never fades. Not a conventional war story by any means, the book it most closely reminds me of, strangely, is Joseph Heller's classic "Catch 22". Although the books are poles apart, they are both concerned with the absurdity of war, but whereas "Catch 22" is black and manic, "A Sailor of Austria" is gently sardonic. Biggins accurately conveys the crumbling pretensions of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the utter meaninglessness of its military efforts in this tepid backwater of the War to end all Wars. Part of the allure of the story for me was the very obscurity of the campaign Biggins is describing. Prior to reading this I had no idea that Austro-Hungary even had a navy, let alone a submarine fleet. The depth of Biggin's research is obvious and extremely impressive. His hero and narrator, Otto Prohaska, is a likeable sea-dog, with a healthy cynicism regarding the doddering Empire he serves, but whose loyalty to that same crumbling edifice remains steadfast until it literally falls to pieces around him. The final scenes aboard his submarine as the Austro-Hungarian flag is taken down for the last time and his crew prepares to break up are among the the most moving in the book. The book has plenty more to recommend it - humour, romance, intrigue, in short a must-read for anyone interested in war and the sea.
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