Book review: Summer Before the Dark: Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth, Ostend 1936 by Volker Weidermann


Summer Before the Dark: Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth, Ostend 1936Summer Before the Dark: Stefan Zweig and Joseph Roth, Ostend 1936 by Volker Weidermann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From BBC Radio 4 – Book of the Week
Volker Weidermann’s account of the charming resort of Ostend, and in 1936 it’s a haven for Middle-Europe emigres. Abridged in five episodes by Katrin Williams:

Stefan Zweig strolls the seafront, visits a cafe, and waits for his friend Joseph Roth to arrive. Also in town are other writers, wives and mistresses, as storm clouds gather over the rest of Europe..

2/5: Joseph Roth will be meeting Stefan Zweig here. But first, some background into their need to escape Austria and its encroaching dangers..

3/5: Joseph Roth is off the train at Ostend, about to meet Stefan Zweig for the hotels and bistro life. But his head will soon be turned by another writer, who’s newly arrived herself..

4/5: Joseph Roth is in Ostend to meet his old friend Stefan Zweig. But he’s quickly distracted by another writer, Irmgard Keun. Life is short, so they will move to the Hotel Couronne together..

5/5: Swimming, promenading, drinking.The pleasures of Ostend linger in the face of storm clouds gathering over Europe, but even seasoned vacationers know they have to move on..

Reader Peter Firth

Producer Duncan Minshull.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06ybg7k

Even if the city of Ostend have suffered a major destruction during World War II, it remains as a charming Belgian coasted city.

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