MOBI Der Trafikant ePUB ↠ â â

When seventeen year old Franz exchanges his home in the idyllic beauty of the Austrian lake district for the bustle of Vienna his homesickness uickly dissolves amidst the thrum of the city In his role as apprentice to the elderly tobacconist Otto Trsnyek he will soon be supplying the great and good of Vienna with their newspapers and cigarettes Among the regulars is a Professor Freud whose predilection for cigars and occasional willingness to dispense romantic advice will forge a bond between him and young Franz It is 1937 In a matter of months Germany will annex Austria and the storm that has been threatening to engulf the little tobacconist will descend leaving the lives of Franz Otto and Professor Freud irredeemably changed

10 thoughts on “Der Trafikant

  1. says:

    45 To take a terrible and horrifying time in history the Nazi invasion of Austria and be able to render a story infused with tenderness and beauty takes a great deal of talent A young man Franz sent from the Lake District by his mother to help an old friend of hers a Tobacconist by trade has a gradual awakening and loss of innocence with the things he sees happening Yet he refuses to let this define him and is determined to live his life the best he can He meets Sigmund Freud asks him uestions sits with him on a park bench trying to find the answers in how to find happiness from this great man The answers he receives leads him to seek out new experiences falling in love for the first time The prose in this book is beautiful so many poignant moments are captured by this amazing author's words Terrible times too all around young Franz who see things he only understands gradually He never gives up though continues to try to live his life honoring those he loved who are gone to his best capabilities In all ways a book whose execution filled me with awe A book to be read and savored or as my friend Cheri said slowly There is sadness too how could there not be but importantly hope and the spark that ignites one to keep trying never give up until forced That is this book and it is an amazing feat of writingARC from edelweiss

  2. says:

    NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK ”One Sunday in the late summer of 1937 an unusually violent thunderstorm swept over the mountains of the Salzkammergut Until then Franz Huschel’s life had trickled along fairly uneventfully but this thunderstorm was to give it a sudden turn that had far reaching conseuences As soon as he heard the first distant rumble of thunder Franz ran inside the little fisherman’s cottage where he lived with his mother n the village of Nussdorf am Attersee and crawled into bed to listen to the unearthly racket from the safety of his warm and downy cave The weather shook the hut on every side The beams groaned the shutters banged outside and the wooden roof shingles thickly overgrown with moss flapped in the storm Rain pelted against the windowpanes driven by gusts of wind and on the sills a few decapitated geraniums drowned in their tubs The iron Jesus on the wall above the old clothes box wobbled as if at any moment he might tear himself from his nails and leap down from the cross and from the shore of the nearby lake came the crash of fishing boats slammed against their moorings by the pounding waves”When Franz is only seventeen his mother sends him to work for an old friend of hers Otto Trsnyek who is a tobacconist with his own shop in Vienna with newspapers cigarettes and “all the trimmings” He’s only ever left the Salzkammergut twice before and he thinks of the life he’s lived here near the lake with his mother and this new life he’s poised to embark upon ”’This is something different’ he said uietly to himself ‘Something completely and utterly different’ In his mind’s eye the future appeared like the line of a far distant shore materializing out of the morning fog still a little blurred and unclear but promising and beautiful too Trsnyek was granted the tobacconist’s shop a year after the end of the First World War where he lost his leg and so through the compensation law for invalids he obtained his shop He’d lived there since becoming another fixture in townAs tensions rise between the years 1937 – 1938 Trsnyek becomes known for serving everyone and as banners with swastikas begin to fly downtown those who support Hitler’s agenda begin to be openly hostile He continues to serve the Jewish people there including Dr Sigmund Freud Freud becomes somewhat of a confidant and mentor of young Franz who becomes smitten with a young Bohemian woman who has disappeared Being uneducated in the ways of love and women Franz turns to Freud to help him understand what he should do next A coming of age story an ode to the wisdom of a generation who has seen it – if not all then certainly than a boy still in his teens Unreuited love a love story of the innocence of first love and the willingness to be all do all for that person that it will surely make them love you in return or break your heart A story of the ugliness of these terrorizing terrifying acts of malice and hatred A story of those who stood by and watched and those who were forced to leave in order to live Not that long ago I read Seethaler’s “A Whole Life A Novel” which I loved and so when I saw that this was soon to be released as a paperback I was than pleased to get a copy to read With prose that is simple and profound this story set in an atmosphere of the hatred born of one man’s uest for ultimate power where every day seemed fraught with peril Eighty years in the past and yet this seems so very current RecommendedPub Date 05 Sept 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by House of Anansi

  3. says:

    Salzkammergut Austria When a deliberately nay a joyously unlikely narrative device event obliges the seventeen year old mama's boy Franz to leave the backward idyll of Salzkammergut Austria's lake region for Vienna the painfully innocent and ignorant country bumpkin has no idea what's in store for him The date of this forced removal is significant 1937 The 1938 Anschluss of Austria into the Greater German Reich is in the offing and Vienna is a seething stew of Nazis who already have the upper hand socialists communists anarchists and then all the rest who just want to live their lives in peace Not going to happen Franz becomes the apprentice of Otto Trsnjek a tobacconist and former lover of Franz' mother and makes the acuaintance of Sigmund Freud who lives around the corner from the shop and buys his papers and cigars there An unusual relationship forms as Franz needs advice particularly about his unfortunate love for the Bohemian variety danseuse Anezka and Freud warms to his eager youth Franz' clumsy friendliness to the old and painfully ill man draws the ire of the neighborhood Nazis who paint the shop with obscenities Just a beginning The Anschluss Vienna March 1938 A poignant coming of age story in the middle of the Nazi takeover of Vienna with the focus on the small and uotidian as it is overwhelmed by enormous forces of resentment and violence This is the Austrian Robert Seethaler's b 1966 meticulously detailed focus in Der Trafikant 2012 already available in English translation under the title The Tobacconist Because it is presented with an unusual lightness and grace of diction unmistakable but difficult to characterize even with a bit of wry humor it doesn't read like the lugubrious tragedy it really is but instead is suffused with a bittersweet melancholy as one watches these appealing characters get swept one by one into the ever growing whirlpool of outside events When Franz goes down prematurely ripened by his many losses he leaves the reader with a small gesture of defiance a whimsical slap in the face of the Nazis that they barely perceive but gives the reader a small measure of satisfaction

  4. says:

    I’m very glad that I tried again with Seethaler I couldn’t grasp the appeal of A Whole Life because The Tobacconist is one of the few best novels I’ve read this year and very much a book for our times despite being set in 1937–8Seventeen year old Franz Huchel’s life changes for good when his mother sends him away from his uiet lakeside village to work for her old friend Otto Trsnyek a Vienna tobacconist “In Franz’s mind’s eye the future appeared like the line of a far distant shore materializing out of the morning fog still a little blurred and unclear but promising and beautiful too”Though the First World War left him with only one leg Trsnyek is a firebrand Instead of keeping his head down while selling his cigars and newspapers he makes his political opinions known This sees him branded as a “Jew lover” and persecuted accordingly One of the Jews he dares to associate with is Sigmund Freud who is a regular customer even though he already has throat cancer and will die just two years laterEspecially after he falls in love with Anezka a flirtatious but mercurial Bohemian girl Franz turns to Professor Freud for life advice “So I’m asking you have I gone mad? Or has the whole world gone mad?” The professor replies “yes the world has gone mad And have no illusions it’s going to get a lot madder than this”Through free indirect speech the thought lives of the various characters and the postcards and letters that pass between Franz and his mother Seethaler gradually and subtly reveals the deepening worry over the rise of Hitler and the situation of the Jews This novel is so many things a coming of age story a bittersweet romance an out of the ordinary World War IIHolocaust precursor and a perennially relevant reminder of the importance of finding the inner courage to stand up to oppressive systemsFreud and his family had enough money and influence to buy their way to England So many did not escape Hitler’s regime I knew that but discovered it anew in this outstanding novelSome favorite passages Dear MotherI’ve been here in the city for uite a while now yet to be honest it seems to me that everything just gets stranger But maybe it’s like that all through life—from the moment you’re born with every single day you grow a little bit further away from yourself until one day you don’t know where you are any Can that really be the way it is?And as than twenty thousand supporters bellowed their assent into the clear Tyrolean mountain air Adolf Hitler was probably sitting beside the radio somewhere in Berlin licking his lips Austria lay before him like a steaming schnitzel on a plate Now was the time to carve it up People were cosseting their faint hearted troubles and hadn’t even noticed yet that the earth beneath their feet was burningfrom a letter from Mama Just imagine Hitler hangs on the wall even in the restaurant and the school now Right next to Jesus Although we have no idea what they think of each otherFreud “Most paths do at least seem vaguely familiar to me But it’s not actually our destiny to know the paths Our destiny is precisely not to know them We don’t come into this world to find answers but to ask uestions We grope around as it were in perpetual darkness and it’s only if we’re very lucky that we sometimes see a little flicker of light And only with a great deal of courage or persistence or stupidity—or best of all all three at once—can we make our mark here and there indicate the way”Originally published with images on my blog Bookish Beck

  5. says:

    Come away with meTo the Attersee To Vienna in 1938 the NSDAP force Jews to scrub the pavements clean of political slogans The ones they don't approve of presumably Come away with me young Franz says to Anezka Too late Anezka has chosen to guarantee her survival and Franz is not the one to protect her Sigmund Freud has chosen to guarantee his survival and escapes to London Franz is left adrift in Vienna like a rudderless boat on a vast lake But 1938 is not a time that allows drift You have to decide if you are going to survive or notCome away with me sings Norah Jones in her warm soft voice Just the right mood for this delicately drawn low key melancholy narrativeThere is a part where Franz seventeen and hormones abuzz was rather too obviously careening through his id phase battling through to the super ego I got a little irritated by him for a while as you would But there are compensations not least his wonderfully wise mother left behind at the lakeside Die Liebe kommt und geht und man kennt sich vorher nicht aus und man kennt sich nachher nicht aus und am allerwenigsten kennt man sich aus wenn sie da ist Love comes and goes and nobody understands it before it comes and nobody understands it after it's gone and the worst time to understand anything is when it's thereCome away with me

  6. says:

    uirky and charming At times this is almost Kafkaesue in its surreal atmosphere This is a miniaturist view of world war two largely narrated through the eyes of Franz At seventeen Franz leaves his idyllic home in the Austrian lake district to work in a tobaconist's in Vienna owned by a veteran of the first world Among the customers is Sigmund Freud Soon Franz is in need of romantic advice and he and Freud strike up a bond It is 1937 and when the Nazis gain power everything changes Under Freud's advice Franz begins writing down his dreams His dreams though are no less incomprehensible than what's happening in his waking life The novel tackles the incomprehensibility of the Nazis A thoroughly enjoyable read

  7. says:

    More of a 25After all the glowing reviews here on Goodreads this was a real let downI didn’t know what to expect going in to this but it’s a pretty standard WWII story set in Austria It’s fine that’s about as glowing as I’m going to get in this review The writing isn’t bad but I didn’t love it as much as othersAnd now on to the bad First off the character development was pretty much non existent I spent over 200 pages with Franz the protagonist and all I could tell you about him was that he was obsessed with a young woman he met on the streets of Vienna There is really no other substance to his character at all Oh and he likes sharing his dreams with strangers Nobody likes a dream sharer do they?Another problem I had was the portrayal of Sigmund Freud Now I don’t know about anyone else but I find it weird when real life people are thrown into stories with fictional characters Something always feels a bit off about it Franz “befriends” Freud when he meets him as a customer of the tobacconists But I had a lot of trouble believing in their friendship Freud says supposedly profound things to Franz about love Franz is heartbroken after the girl keeps disappearing and Franz brings him his beloved cigars in return This is pretty much the entirety of the plot in this novel There is a not very explored side plot funnily enough about the actual tobacconist which is unfortunate as I think it could have been much interestingIf you’re a fan of WWII stories you might like this but there are much better ones out there My biggest disappointment was the lack of substance here It had potential for sure but for me it didn’t live up to that potential I’d hesitate before picking up another book by this author

  8. says:

    Wonderful Perfect to read in these times of political upheaval Franz is a teenage boy trying to find his way in a turbulent world Austria in 1938 and he finds love and loss but also his creativity in the fragments of his dreams that he attaches to the tobacconist shop window I loved A Whole Life but think I love this story even because of Franz and the social issues the story raises This is my favourite read so far this year which I'm surprised by as I didn't think anything would beat Sebastian Barry's Days Without End

  9. says:

    I seem to be in the minority in terms of an opinion on this book So don't necessarily take my word for it Overall not bad but nothing special Unlike many other reviewers I did not think this was an exceptional book in any way The concept was good and it could have been made into something great but was let down by rather average writing and poor characterisation I did not warm to the central character and felt the portrayal of Freud especially weak If you are going to use real characters in a fictional book they at least should be realistic The exception to my mediocre experience was the last 20 30 pages where the author finds a melancholy note and manages to get this right This part is well written However too little too late to save the whole bookAs always with translations I can't comment on whether my feelings relate to the original or merely to the translated version

  10. says:

    This book went from what could have been a four star read to a two star in the end I don't know maybe I'm just tired but all the lovely writing in the world can't bring me round to a predominantly dull and plotless story with beige characters and some sort of weird insta love I much preferred Seethaler's other book translated to English A Whole Life This one didn't uite hit the spot sadly