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

4.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension

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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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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.


A centenarian Czech resident of a Welsh nursing home relates his fantastic World War I exploits in the Austro-Hungarian navy. In command of a leaky U-boat and a multinational crew, he struggles with petrol sickness, an exploding lavatory and the transport of a racing camel, as well as enemy action. -- 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) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten)

Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen 192 Rezensionen
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen History IS interesting 13. Juni 2016
Von Guy Bernard - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
As a student I had no interest in history, staying awake through the class was success. 40-some years later a very good friend of mine, who, as long as I had known him WAS a history buff, spent several days touring Civil War battle fields with me brought a whole new view if history to me.
Today I find history an interesting topic and must admit to being ALMOST an addict, certainly a "buff".
I rank this well told story second only to the presentation that opened my eyes those years ago and LOUDLY proclaim it to be a MUST READ to history buffs AND to those who have not yet discovered history to be something more than merely a class.
Thank you for a most enjoyable trip through a period of history with a well told story and a view of its impact on the lives of those who experienced it.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Enjoyable Historical Novel About a Little Known Place and Time 8. Januar 2016
Von Jerry D. Rhoades - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Wait, landlocked Austria had a navy? Why, yes it did, back when it was an Empire. This historical novel details the adventures of World War I submarine captain Otto Prohaska as he witnesses the birth of submarine warfare and the death of that Empire. Like Thomas Berger in the classic Little Big Man, John Biggins has Prohaska turning the sardonic eye of age on that period as he tells his story to an interested caregiver in the present-day nursing home where he's spending his last days. It's amusing and filled with interesting historical detail. For example, Prohaska tells us, the earliest subs ran on the surface on petrol engines, which leaked so badly that sailors had to watch each other for signs of madness caused by inhaling the fumes. If the book has one weakness, it's a lack of a single strong plot. Instead the book is a series of anecdotes, taking Prohaska to the end of the war and the rapid disintegration of his country. (I don't think this is a spoiler, since we all kind of know there's no Austro-Hungarian Empire any more). Needless to say, the ending is a bit depressing, but the journey's a lot of fun. Recommended.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining & Enjoyable 4. Mai 2017
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The story was interesting for history buffs and gives insite into the times of the great world war. I found the author's recollections of past entertaining and informative. As a side, I was on a cruise ship in the aegean sea while reading the story which is where most of story is based, most enjoyable.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Loved it 16. April 2016
Von E. Cartwright - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I loved this book - the humor and the pathos. I knew very little about WWI, except having read something about the home front in England and America and a little about the horrors of trench warfare and the use, by both sides, of gas. Then there were the family stories of my grandfather's two brothers who, on the day the Armistance was declared were spared "going over the top" to certain death. I didn't know of the collapse of Austria Hungary or all the ethnic groups involved and their struggles after the war. And I did not know of the existence of subs - U boats - and how primitive they were. I had decided to find books to read about that time. This book was a wonderful beginning to that project.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent 11. Juni 2017
Von Susan B - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I don't usually like these kinds of books but I was captured from the beginning. Sad truth to the price of war versus human life, dignity and worth. I still am left with wondering what happened to his son.
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