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The Royal Game & Other Stories par Stefan…

The Royal Game & Other Stories (édition 1981)

par Stefan Zweig

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1877111,863 (4.28)38
Titre:The Royal Game & Other Stories
Auteurs:Stefan Zweig
Info:Harmony Books (1981), Hardcover
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The Royal Game and Other Stories par Stefan Zweig


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Affichage de 1-5 de 7 (suivant | tout afficher)
A claustrophobic collection on monomania.

Zweig feels to me to be like the Jodi Picoult of his time: both are widely-read authors of their time whose almost defiantly-plain and simple proses are so good at capturing the psychology of individual characters leading up to and after a pivotal moment. The hindsight of time and his resurgent popularity have revealed Zweig to contain evergreen aspects of the human condition, which makes me wonder how fickle reading habits are and what contemporary works will still be marvelled in a century.

Favourite story: The Burning Secret is absolutely brilliant.

Remaining ranking: Followed by a tie between The Royal Game and Fear. Then Letter from an Unknown Woman. Then Amok firmly trampled and battened down in last place because I just loathe the plot itself. ( )
  kitzyl | Oct 16, 2020 |
Zweig is a master storyteller! Each of these five long short stories (probably too long to be short stories and too short to be novellas) is a psychological thriller, describing obsession so clearly that you, the reader, are swept up its suspense. Zweig, an Austrian Jew, wrote "The Royal Game", during WWII. It has been said to depict Nazi psychological warfare. It along with "The Burning Secret" were my favorites in this volume. But each one is exceptional and wonderfully written. Highly recommended! ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
An amazing assemblage of stories. Although the titular one "takes the cake" (as they say) the rest were fully explorable. It was like going into a literary maze and experiencing everything while being guided on the path by the plot-line and being given asides by the characters. Zweig was a talent, for sure, and he shows himself in fine form here with his prose. There is a lot of creativity, originality, and things to garnish here and I recommend this book for all those interested in world literature. I assure you, it will not be a bad decision.

4.5 stars. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Jul 19, 2019 |
Overall a very enjoyable experience. Every story a literal telling that was done masterfully. Though I typically enjoy a less literal work, Zweig can make you read on, and for that I am grateful, and also quite glad he has been rediscovered and getting his proper due. ( )
  MSarki | Oct 10, 2013 |
I had never heard of Stefan Zweig and have LT members to thank for recommending this book.

Zweig was born in Vienna in 1881 to wealthy parents and became a poet, translator, biographer and novelist. His life ended dramatically when he and his wife committed suicide in Brazil in 1942 after being distraught over the increasing power of the Nazis in Europe.

The Royal Game (or Chess Story) was the last thing he wrote. The other stories in this collection are: Amok, The Burning Secret, Fear, and Letter From An Unknown Woman. For the most part, they are all stories of obsession (e.g., "chess-poisoning") or mental cat and mouse games where you're not always sure who's the cat and who's the mouse. There is a feverish quality to all the stories which I really got caught up in.

My favorite was probably Letter From An Unknown Woman about a famous novelist who receives a letter in an unknown handwriting addressed only "To you who never really knew me." There is no return address and no signature. It turns out to be a letter from a woman who has loved the novelist since she was 13 years old. "Nothing on earth equals the unseen, hidden love of a child, because it is so without hope, so servile, so submissive, so observant and intense, as the covetous and unconciously demanding love of a grown woman never is." (p. 223) The writer of the letter is now an adult who fears she may be dying of influenza and wants the novelist to know how much she loved him. "You'll receive this testament from me only when I'm dead--from one who loved you more than anyone else and whom you didn't recognise; from one who always waited for you but for whom you never sent." (p. 249) The big question is will the novelist figure out who sent the letter.

Another one I really liked was The Burning Secret. It's about a sickly, young boy recuperating at a resort with his mother whose boring days suddenly change with the arrival of a fascinating young bachelor on vacation who takes an interest in him. The boy's "face didn't altogether lack good looks but its character was as yet unformed. The battle between manhood and childhood seemed scarcely to have begun." (p. 103) The bachelor turns out to be an aristocratic baron who has hunted elephants in India and who is also a "woman hunter." The story is about what happens when it dawns on the boy that the bachelor is really interested in his mother, not him.

I'm giving this book 4 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed the stories but they are similar in tone and I would recommend reading them one at time with a break in between. They're all about 50 pages long and I'd make sure you had time to read each story straight through because once you start, you'll want to know how it ends. ( )
1 voter phebj | May 31, 2010 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Zweig, Stefanauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Huebsch, B. W.Traducteurauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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