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9781487004453_cover

The Tobacconist

by Robert Seethaler
translated by Charlotte Collins
read by Rupert Simonian

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historical, jewish
list price: $34.99
edition:Audiobook
category: Fiction
published: 2018
ISBN:9781487004453
imprint: Anansi Audio
Description

From The Man Booker International Prize finalist Robert Seethaler comes a tender, heartbreaking story of one young man and his friendship with Sigmund Freud during the Nazi occupation of Vienna.

Seventeen-year-old Franz Huchel journeys to Vienna to apprentice at a tobacco shop. There he meets Sigmund Freud, a regular customer, and over time the two very different men form a singular friendship. When Franz falls desperately in love with the music hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that the female sex is as big a mystery to him as it is to Franz.

As political and social conditions in Austria dramatically worsen with the Nazis’ arrival in Vienna, Franz, Freud, and Anezka are swept into the maelstrom of events. Each has a big decision to make: to stay or to flee?

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Contributor notes

ROBERT SEETHALER is an Austrian living in Berlin. He is the bestselling author of four novels, including The Tobacconist, which has sold more than 200,000 copies in Germany, and A Whole Life, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth.

Charlotte Collins studied English at Cambridge University. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in both Germany and the UK before becoming a literary translator. She has also translated Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, and is co-translating The Eighth Life, an award-winning novel by Nino Haratischwili.

Rupert Simonian is a British-Canadian actor from London, UK. Rupert performs in film, television and theatre. He has performed in dramas for BBC Radio.

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Editorial Reviews

His unbelievable ease of writing is so pleasant.

— Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

With this novel Robert Seethaler has created a wonderful tale of adolescence, told with great lightness and humour — but the dark rumblings of the hard times just starting in Vienna are always present in the background.

— kulturtipp

In the latest from Booker-nominated Robert Seethaler, three people collide in Nazi-occupied Vienna: a teenage villager named Franz; Anezka, the vaudeville dancer he’s fallen for; and Sigmund Freud, dispensing some questionable advice.

— Chatelaine

A book about friendship in difficult times and retaining one’s humanity even when scum are in power. A great novel.

— WDR4

With The Tobacconist, Robert Seethaler has succeeded in writing a wholly coherent, condensed coming-of-age novel. Not a word is wasted.

— Die Presse

Seethaler has achieved something uncanny with this novel. He writes with unvarnished simplicity from the heart of a great calamity — but he does it with a lightness we’ve not seen since Jurek Becker’s brilliant debut novel Jacob the Liar.

— NZZ am Sonntag

Seethaler writes with great lightness of how reading widely and accumulating wisdom make life richer, but also more complicated.

— Der Spiegel

The Tobacconist is a poignant, tragic look at the creeping rise of fascism in Vienna before the outbreak of the Second World War. Told with humor and pity, the novel expertly depicts how easy it is to find, and lose, one's place in the world.

— Shelf Awareness

For me, Seethaler is a great storyteller in the tradition of Polgar and Joseph Roth.

— Gerhard Polt

Robert Seethaler is a great storyteller who loves his characters, and he has a wonderful sense of the dramatic which never gets out of hand.

— 20 Minuten

The Tobacconist is a stirring, affecting, extremely multi-faceted book. It’s a coming-of-age novel, a love story, a portrait of society, and although it’s a work of fiction it reads like an important contemporary document of the darkest period in Austria’s history. All this is conveyed by Robert Seethaler with such literary lightness, precision and vivid imagery that, like the protagonist himself, the reader is inevitably swept up in the maelstrom of events.

— ORF

Robert Seethaler writes about all this in a way that is understated yet captivating and very poetically powerful, stylistically confident.

— Junge Welt

I haven’t read a more beautiful book in years.

— SWR2 Book of the Week

Tender, quiet, gentle, poetic — a little treasure.

— Elke Heidenreich, SWR

this powerful work evokes the hate-mongering and mistrust engendered by the war while leavening melancholy with sly wit

— Booklist
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About the Authors

Robert Seethaler

ROBERT SEETHALER is an Austrian living in Berlin. He is the bestselling author of four novels, including The Tobacconist, which has sold more than 200,000 copies in Germany, and A Whole Life, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in Germany. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth.

Author profile page >

Charlotte Collins

Charlotte Collins studied English at Cambridge University. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in both Germany and the UK before becoming a literary translator. She has also translated Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, and is co-translating The Eighth Life, an award-winning novel by Nino Haratischwili.

Author profile page >

Rupert Simonian

Rupert Simonian is a British-Canadian actor from London, UK. Rupert performs in film, television and theatre. He has performed in dramas for BBC Radio.
Author profile page >

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