Nigel Jones

A Pearl Before Swine

The Setting of the Pearl: Vienna under Hitler

By

Oxford University Press 352pp £18.50 order from our bookshop

There’s something odd about Vienna and the Austrians. Don’t just take my word for it – read virtually every English-language writer who has puzzled over the place and its people since the War. Graham Greene, Jan Morris, John Irving, Stephen Brook, Frederic Morton, Hella Pick, even the grand-daddy of Austrophile Englishmen, Gordon Brook-Shepherd, who devoted his life to the subject – all have concluded that all is, ahem, not quite right with the denizens of the Danubian lands, charming and gifted as many of them doubtless are. Now yet another author, Thomas Weyr, emerges from a fruitless battle to get to grips with this baffling, infuriating problem and confesses himself – in a tone of hurt, almost wounded, wonder – as defeated as those who went before him.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • . is next week! The programme is excellent and there are free copies of Literary Review, to boot! ,
    • 'Britain's spy chief in the Congo replied to a fellow peer who asked her whether SIS played any part in its prime m… ,
    • This month Lucy Popescu covers the plight of poet Galal El-Behairy and activist Wael Abbas in Egypt's crack-down on… ,
    • 'I fear that defending an 18th-century agrarian economist against – well, against whom exactly? – is not the best u… ,
    • 'He lacks empathy with all but the wealthy and has no grasp of the struggles faced by the majority of his concitoye… ,
    • Here's Richard Vinen's review of A Certain Idea of France by Julian Jackson: ,
    • RT : James Crabtree's 'Billionaire Raj' - my review for . "...For sheer chutzpah, India’s billionaires provid… ,