19 May 2013

8 Five Star Reviews for “Sebastian”

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sebastian bookThe strength of this author lies in the choice of his characters, a large ensemble cast around the title character Sebastian. Each of them seems to represent a different class, a social or an ethnic group of the melting pot that is the Habsburg Vienna of 1913. The family shop with its wide selection of goods and changing staff serves almost as the perfect symbol for the forced Austro-Hungarian state that has run its cause. With much research gone into the setting Fischer however focuses more on the human side of his characters and their conflicts. As before, he never points the finger or favours one group in particular but manages to give a great and authentic feel of the times. Self-doubt and a fear of the future oozes out of most his characters, particularly the physically fragile Sebastian and his family. It seems the old generation is holding on to what they know and what is slipping through their fingers; the young ones are unsure how to be themselves in a modern world where old values are becoming meaningless and their own initiative and expertise will be needed. With a hint of irony and a love for sentiment and nostalgia Fischer portrays the stubborn heroes, the errant and self-defeating and often silly ways in which the characters trod along in their search for happiness, be that seances, amateur psycho-analysis or risking all for a piece of the past. This second part of his trilogy is less intense in terms of historic background and has an easier flow of writing. Greatly evolved Fischer gently shows the falling apart of the old order, showing some of the innocence of the time. After having first written a book about the brutal times that follow this is a daring concept that fortunately paid off. Just like the leg amputated Sebastian has to learn to walk through life with what he has left, so will the new shrunken state of Austria need to find a new stance in a changing Europe. Having read in an interview that the story is based on his own grandfather makes the story all the more touching and a small piece of history come alive.

 

when I stumble upon a gem like Fischer, I become a pretty fanatical fan. Character pieces are underrated and under appreciated in this world, and Fischer so brilliantly reminds us why the classic literary novels are, in fact, classics. The characterizations in this book are amazing. Not just Sebastian, either, but every single person making an appearance in this book has their own, rich, separate lives. I lost myself instantly in the description and the plot. The journey was swift, but it was rich and i could see the streets in my head. I could see the time period so richly, and with every page my heart went out, terrified for the worst and hoping for the best…. writers as brilliant as Fischer, who brings back that amazing story-telling without having to give their characters unrealistic beauty and superhuman abilities. … Fischer reminds us that everyone is flawed, but it’s because of that, that we are such a beautiful species.

 

 … a marvellous and well-crafted story … that takes twists and turns along with the plots and subplots to help define a character that goes from being weak to growing an inner strength and beauty. Sebastian’s story is the story of his family, the women who enter his life and the war that surrounds and defines them all. …Sebastian’s story is a metaphor for lives thrown into turmoil because of war and what war does to individuals separately and as citizens. It is a story of how the human condition and stresses become heightened and exaggerated when threatened by personal and geographic political evils. This is a story of great compassion and selfishness, of jealousy and love, of loss and risking, of having material and losing it all, of families and finding out what is important, of loyalty and betrayal. It is a story that runs deep in all of us, with emotions displaying what it is to be human. It is a story of every man and every woman with themes and messages that any reader can relate to, right down to the surprise and unexpected ending, which is how we do live our lives, after all is said and done. This intelligently and sensitively crafted story pulls the reader in, pulls at our heart strings, and keeps us glued to the page, long after the last one is closed, and the memory of Sebastian lingers, one that won’t be easily or readily forgotten. I loved Sebastian.

 

  …exceptional account of this kids life … This is one book I would recommend to anyone that likes to read historical fiction. I had previously read, “The Luck of the Weissensteiners,” and this story is definitely showing the development of his writing skills. He’s becoming quite good I feel. ***** In essesance this book is about prophecies and personal beliefs that hinders and shape our characters in ways unexpected. Self-fulfilling prophecies makes Sebastian loose his girlfriend and unborn child? His own family has little to do with this particular set of events but in their own way, with their own beliefs they set events in motion! Most of this book is about growth, and the ending was filled with hope! I kept wondering if these peoples lives would have turned out better if their inner dialogues and belief systems were positive instead of paranoid and negative! What I liked best? The way the story made me think and the setting in Vienna that gave me a glimpse into unexplored territory for me.

 

Sebastian is about the trials and tribulations of one family, about loyalty, about human failings, and the inner strength it takes to get through difficult times. The author weaves a clever tale using subplots and character development to include the women who come and go in Sebastian’s life and the approaching war that defines the time period … with his textured storyline and vivid characters … a true gift from a superb author.

 

Sebastian takes the reader through a wide variety of characters that grow, learn and evolve as the story unfolds. The historical background is masterfully woven to set the reader in the time frame. The story has very entertaining metaphysical aspects, historical flow and a wide range of the universal feeling of love. Mr. Fischer secures a place with this second book as a great story teller who knows how to tug at our heartstrings while taking us in a journey before during and after WWI. On a personal note I absolutely loved the way he tied everything up in the uplifting ending.

 

just one more page then chapters later I was still reading. The characters make you you feel what they are living through and the depths of their characters. Descriptions of Lvov so well written that I could see places that were described. I see its a Trilogy and can’t wait for the next book.

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written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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