In the High Peaks

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Radetsky March by Joseph Roth (Readalong-April)

During the month of March I'll be reading the Austrian or, by birth, the Galician Joseph Roth's 1932 masterpiece, The Radetsky March. The overarching theme and setting of the novel concerns the decline and downfall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as seen (at least partially)  through the lives of the fictional Von Trotta family. The readalong is hosted by Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life  and Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat.

Because I've read so many novels and movies depicting the eve of WWI and the Great War itself as seen from the shores of the UK, I will be utterly fascinated to read a classic that deals with the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I know next to nothing about it. I have read another book by Joseph Roth, and I can't recall the title at all at the moment. (Sigh!) But this book is hugely acclaimed. And I'm so enthused about participating.

Joseph Roth was born into a Jewish family in Galicia, in the eastern region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in what is now western Ukraine. He attended the University of Vienna and became a journalist. Roth served on the Eastern Front (against the Russian Empire).

What interests me even more about this readalong is that Lizzy and Caroline will be posting discussion questions, for each third of the book, for each of the first three weeks of April.

It's not too late to join in. Are you as intrigued as I am?


  1. I am very intrigued - I wonder if I would be able to fit it in and get a copy of the book quickly.

    1. Katrina,
      I think this book is more widely available in the UK than in the US, from what my research has shown. It would be so much fun to be in with you on this one. For myself, I reasoned that I have time because only the first third of the novel will be discussed during the first week of April, and so forth. And the other push for me was that the book, from what I've read about it, seems just too good to pass up.

  2. I've only vaguely heard of this one but I do hope you enjoy it and the subsequent discussions.

    Currently almost halfway through my reread of the first Maisie Dobbs, as promised. I'm actually really enjoying it and no one's more surprised than me as I wasn't all that smitten first time, as you know. This is typical of me...

  3. Hi Cath,
    I'm so glad that the first Maisie Dobbs novel worked out for you this time around. I recently purchased the 5th book, An Incomplete Revenge, and may very well read it this year as a diversion while I'm reading all the Classics.