10 Jan 2015

Review of “SEBASTIAN”: Family, War, Community – Captivating Historical Fiction #asmsg

4 Comments Book Reviews, News
17834808That wonderful moment when a reader sees in your book exactly what you meant them to. Here’s a new and much appreciated review for my second book: Sebastian.

5.0 out of 5 stars

Family, War, Community – Captivating Historical Fiction, January 9, 2015

This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Sebastian is rich with history, family relationships, struggle, and the bonds that tie families together. Christoph writes with such a down to Earth flavor that you become part of this family and are immediately drawn into the despair a mother feels when her son must lose his leg. The inner family squabbles and bantering that are innate in every family are present and continue as war intrudes more into their lives. As the complexities of each characters inner thoughts play out, throughout the story, you as the reader gain insight into the background of those feelings. The author transports you to a time in history many know nothing about, yet educates you while seamlessly keeping you in the story. Christoph has a magic touch with words taking us through the years with clean, precise, well researched, storytelling. He hits on the very personal nature of each characters emotional turmoil, misinterpretations, and manipulations, all of which are spun from their own insecurities or individual needs, and inevitability affect their future. There are far too many events that I enjoyed to mention and I don’t want to give away too much but I enjoyed the early Freud experimentation by the Glueck women using Vera as their subject. Was also pleasantly surprised by interest into the spiritual realm during this time of war and understood the need for family wanting to know what had happened to missing family members. Sebastian is a story that will have you facing the flaws of human emotion, and have you rooting for love. This is an inspirational story of community and survival on many different levels. The plight of family, being handicapped, expectations, sexual preference, prejudice, political awareness, tradition, pride, self worth, and the Jewish community are spun into a brilliant and captivating historical fiction. You will love how it all comes together. Christoph Fischer, is an author whose stories deserve recognition and being thoroughly enjoyed.

P1120877Link to a previous post on Sebastian

Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TNTSeb
On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ
On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy
Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/
B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw

22 Aug 2013

Newsflash – More excellent Reviews and Chart Success for my books

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THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS

continues its ups and down the Jewish Fiction Chart, currently at 

#36 in Books > Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Jewish

Highlights from the prestigious IndieReader Review

THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS succeeds in shedding light on an overlooked aspect of World War II (i.e. life in Slovakia)…
the historical aspects of many of the characters prove fascinating

Beginning in Bratislava in 1933, this story of historical fiction follows various civilians through the lead-up, duration, and aftermath of World War II. Focusing on individuals in Slovakia the reader is taken on a long-winded, albeit fascinating tour of an often-neglected portion of this most infamous of wars.

In the middle of it all is gentle Greta, a voracious reader from a Jewish family who finds herself in love with a “Prussian looking junior sales assistant” at the local bookstore. Little does Greta know that a wave of anti-Semitism will make her eventual marriage to this non-Jewish man a potentially lethal situation for both husband and wife. Unlike his daughter, Greta’s father Jonah has always exercised more caution in matters concerning his Jewish heritage. As a skilled weaver Jonah has always kept himself from being too closely associated with the Jewish community, never wanting to “attract unwanted attention and damage his business”. Of course nothing can fully protect these and others from the sheer insanity that came with the rise and fall of Nazi Europe.

old-town-bratislava-james-a-stewart

Lingering not just on those persecuted by the wave of anti-Semitism but on the bystanders, the sympathizers, and the opportunists as well, the book does an excellent job of providing insight into how regular people could be swept up in the constant barrage of Nazi propaganda. As Greta’s own husband remarks after Greta suffers a miscarriage “Did she really work too hard or was that her weak Jewish body that made the baby come away? I do wonder.” And characters often wonder, fear, plot, and die. As attitudes shift with whoever is winning the war, it becomes clear that no one was ever truly safe at this time no matter what their allegiance or background.

***

On Goodreads THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS has currently 50 reviews and 65 ratings with an average of 4.69 stars,
on Amazon.com 48 with an 4.8 stars

Here are some more excerpts from recent reviews:

Wilma reading

 A Rich, Epic Historical Fiction!,  

Set around the period of the World War II, Christoph Fischer brings to life an epic tale of the struggle for survival of a love-struck couple from two different backgrounds. I’m not much of a fan of Historical Fiction, but for one of the few times in my life, I’ve read a historical fiction and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Luck of the Weissensteiners is a rich, insightful novel that explores the lives of people from various deep, multicultural backgrounds. A story so touching it will bring tears to your eyes. Highly recommended to all Historical Fiction fans.

*****

Mr Fischer’s book is well written, clever and original
I recommend to anybody who is looking for a different novel to read
thank you Mr Fischer 

*****

Meanwhile Sebastian is also cruising the Jewish Fiction Charts and received some more great reviews this week. On Goodreads Sebastian has currently 43 ratings and 22 reviews, with an average of 4.88 stars, on Amazon.com there are 24 reviews with an average of 4.9 stars.

#46 in Books > Fiction > Religious & Inspirational > Jewish

The first sentence of SEBASTIAN stirred my curiosity, and like Alice, I found myself in another time and place. Transported to a hospital room in pre-WWI Vienna, I felt the gravity of the situation. Was this doctor really going to amputate part of Sebastian’s leg? Carried along from page to page, I worried alongside his mother, Vera, and wondered why his father, Franz, was not there.

As the novel unfolds and expands, we experience everyday life in this era. Vienna, in the years just before the Great War, was in a sort of golden age bubble — a bubble that was about to burst. The trajectory of Sebastian’s life will change, as will the lives of the other characters we meet, all tied in one way or another to the family’s grocery store, a gathering place of many ethnicities.

The author, Christoph Fischer, is a very talented writer. His first book, THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS, was a fabulous read, too. I think the writing in SEBASTIAN is even more graceful and the history so smoothly integrated. Oh, how deftly the author laces the metaphorical shoe that Sebastian will no longer wear. Everyone is missing a shoe of one kind or another. Sebastian’s journey is everyone’s journey.

Who will love this novel? Anyone who values good storytelling, a well researched setting, and a cast of fascinating characters — each with their own challenges. The novel holds our attention, so rapt we are in how people adapt, well or not, to changing landscapes in their lives, their decisions often based on their perceptions, accurate or not. SEBASTIAN is superb historical fiction. Highly recommended.

*****
Can anything be more turbulent than having your leg amputated as a teenager and losing your self-worth in the process? Sebastian is the story of a young man growing up in a not-so-palatable world, with all the accompanying disasters, irritation, lack of trust, betrayal, frustration; and yet he managed to pull through it all. His resilience, courage and hope are ones that will inspire many for generations to come. The 2nd book in The Three Nations trilogy, Christoph Fischer has woven reality in this 321-page fiction that is so engaging you simply cannot turn away.
*****
I fell in love with Sebastian and how he overcame the hardships that he faced!!!
From losing his leg and confidence at 16 and all the hardships that follow including his pregnant soon-to-be wife running off, leaving him with his young daughter and the First World War that wreaks havoc for his family and nation.
Yet he still manages to stay strong to support his family and himself whilst still managing to smile.
An finally he finds love again and his own self-acceptance!!!
A truly inspiring read for anyone!!!!
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12 Aug 2013

More reviews and chart success for my books

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IT’S BEEN ANOTHER GREAT WEEKEND FOR MY BOOKS:

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THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS 

re-entered the Jewish Fiction Charts on Amazon

and it received this 5 star review:

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!!

This review is from: The Luck of the Weissensteiners (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)

a harrowing story
a real heart breaking tale

a truly inspiring read and I would place this as high up as “Schindler’s Ark”.
This author had got details and character’s just right!!!!

On AMAZON.COM that is now 44 reviews, 37 x 5 Stars

 

SEBASTIAN is still in the JEWISH FICTION CHARTS ON AMAZON

and it received 4 NEW FIVE STAR REVIEWS:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy read,

This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)

This author’s talent – in my view – is the way he gets in those characters’ heads and invites us in too. We’re treated to all those feelings – the good, the bad, and the constantly changing. I love that.

I recommend this book. Very much.

when book three comes out, I’ll grab it immediately.

*****

 

Greta reading The Luck of the Weissensteiners

5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Storytelling,

This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)

The Luck of the Weissensteiners was equally well written, but Sebastian is more of a character-driven read. And what characters they are!

Sebastian is an excellently drawn tale, full of vibrant characters and brilliant story. I will definitely be reading the last in the series when it comes out.

*****

5.0 out of 5 stars Glad to have found this book,

This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)

Sebastian’s family is an odd bunch of characters that you can’t help liking.

Fischer does a great job at exploring Sebastian’s ideas of what his place in society should be.

I liked the subplots;
Sebastian is well written, unpredictable and an interesting historical novel, and is also a coming of age story about a young disabled man and his journey to self-acceptance. The book ends on a positive, inspirational note, and also with a wonderful twist.

5.0 out of 5 stars Sebastian, Worth the Time,

This review is from: Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)

I became quickly invested in the characters.
You have to love the main character! Sebastian

There are a colorful cast of characters in this book,

Christoph Fischer has a way of drawing the reader into the story and keeping your attention throughout making this novel a wonderful read. Thank-you for sharing your words with this reader. Sebastian was a pleasure to read!

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Christoph Fischer on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/WriterChristophFischer?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/TheLuckOfTheWeissensteiners?ref=hl

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sebastian/489427467776001?ref=hl

My profile on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16177343-the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17834808-sebastian

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1372133796&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Weissensteiners-Three-Nations-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00AFQC4QC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361292311&sr=8-2&keywords=luck+of+the+weissensteiners

http://www.amazon.com/Sebastian-Three…

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1372133835&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Weissensteiners-Three-Nations-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00AFQC4QC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361292346&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sebastian-Thr…

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luck-of-the-weissensteiners-christoph-fischer/1113932211?ean=9781481130332

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sebastian-mr-christoph-fischer/1115243053?ean=9781484156001

10 Aug 2013

Magazine Article and Blog Interview with Writer Christoph Fischer

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LUCKY ME!

I WAS INVITED BY THE

WONDERFUL KATY O’DOWD ON

HER BLOG FOR A QUICK INTERVIEW 

AND AM FEATURED N THE AUGUST EDITION OF

BKKWALKERSCAFE MAGAZINE

author picture

 

Here is a quick excerpt from the short interview:

 

Who are you?

I am a writer of predominantly historical fiction, dog breeder, book reviewer, lapsed vegan, blogger, German in exile, night time runner and an avid reader.

What are you working on?

I am currently editing the third book in my Three Nations Trilogy, loosely entitled “The Black Eagle Inn”, which is set in post-war Germany and like its predecessors is an epic family saga dealing with the effects of war on the little man.

What’s your favourite thing in the whole entire world?

Cuddling up with the dogs by the fireplace watching a good film or TV series.

And most unfavourite?

Horseradish.

Marmalade or marmite?

Marmalade.

If you could be any person from history, film, literature or music, who would you be and why?

Sigmund Freud. The philosophers and psychologists of that era seemed to have had an exciting and promising career ahead and great personal devotion to their work.

And while we’re on about it, what’s your favourite album/book/movie?

Album: Portishead “Dummy”
Book: Gregory David Roberts: “Shantaram”
Movie: “Casino Royale” (Woody Allen)

What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?

My dogs and my partner.

And the worst?

Road rage (receiving).

Any words of wisdom to leave us with?

The answer is 42.

 

 

07 Aug 2013

NEW REVIEWS FOR SEBASTIAN

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SEBASTIAN received 3 more 5 star reviews in the last week.  sebastian book

Here are some of the highlights from the reviews:

Historical Novel meets Literary Realism.

Vienna, the beginning of the 20th century, just before WWI. What wouldn’t I give to visit that place to see for myself the so-called “Golden Age” of the center of European science and philosophy, arguably the most liberal place in Europe, where the seeds of the modern ideas of ethnic and religious equality first sprouted and were actually implemented.

The book edges on “Literary Realism.” No character or idea is romanticized and characters are humanly fallible people who are trying to act in their self-interest, be it foolishly sometimes. While I was reading this book, I could not stop making parallels with “War and Peace.” “Sebastian” is, in my opinion, a book about how a war changes people and the society. There’s a tiny bit of a “conclusion” of sorts at the end of the book, in a dialog between Sebastian and one of his friends (no spoilers):

“Many men who are returning from the war have changed and they come home to even more changed women. There comes a time when one needs to let go of the past and live in the present.”

A very good read from a fast-emerging name in historical novels. Recommended

*****

A worthy read,

so it’s with irony that we note his disability.

This author’s talent is the way he gets in those characters’ heads and invites us in too. We’re treated to all those feelings – the good, the bad, and the constantly changing. I love that.

There is also a history lesson going on here, so if you need to brush up on that without getting bogged down by dry dates and facts that have no humanity attached to them – I recommend this book. Very much. Suitable for mature teens – up.

Of course, when book three comes out, I’ll grab it immediately.

****

Great character development

… it is very well written and developed.  

Fischer’s characters are very well rounded.

It is very realistic and I am impressed at the author’s ability to write such full fledged characters.

I was also very impressed with the amount and type of information in the book. Fischer does a magnificent job of showing the tensions between the Jewish and gentile communities. He delves into what happens to the common people during war. In this book you do not see the typical heroes, you see very little of the soldiers, and you hear what is happening politically only as a citizen who was not involved would. This was fascinating, as most of what I knew prior to reading Sebastian was political… not how the regular people would have seen things and the impact on them. I would love to get my hands on Fischer’s research in order to go more in depth on a few questions that I have.

I believe that anyone who likes history and/or enjoys the study of human nature will greatly appreciate this book.

*****
With a cast of well-developed characters, some of whom are extremely flawed, the story is incredibly engaging. In the beginning you learn about about Sebastian and the Schreiber family through Vera, the matriarch. Not only does she suffer from a weak constitution and the loss of her son’s leg, but her husband’s affair with a much younger assistant. But Vera proves herself stronger than she thinks when she takes matters into her own hands and seeks help from the very interesting and extremely entertaining Glueck women. They turn out to be both great resources and wonderful friends to Vera in her time of need.
As the story progresses, you see how against all odds Sebastian finds love and starts a family of his own.

Fischer does an excellent job of capturing the feel of Vienna during such a turbulent time in history. You feel the pain and suffering of the men, women, and children as war tears families apart and hunger and poverty replace the many comforts people had become accustomed to.

A blend of history, romance, and hardships that show the political, cultural, and religious issues of the time, Sebastian is a do-not-miss saga. If you are a lover of historical fiction, this is definitely one you want to checkout!

*****

 

On Goodreads SEBASTIAN tops several Listopia lists and is in the Top Ten of 8 others.
 
In the Indietribe Fiction Charts it stays strong at #6
 
On Amazon.com Sebastian climbed into the Top 100 of Jewish Fiction and has stayed there for several weeks.

 

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5.0 out of 5 stars Completely perfect!
Hands down this author has won me over. Christoph pulls you into his stories from the beginning and refuses to let you go, even…Read more
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STORY!!
This book is a great story about a kids life just before World War 1 begins. He goes through so much in his life even before he becomes an adult and I can relate to this… Read more
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Historical Drama
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard To Put Down
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I fully enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, but the author has taken this book to a completely new level…
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is even better!
What a treat! I feel like a just took a vacation back in time to Vienna where I met some very interesting people. Read more
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, and with how much I loved The Luck of the Weissensteiners, it was tough to wait for this one to come out.
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25 Jul 2013

Newsflash Christoph Fischer

1 Comment News

It has been an amazing week for my books. THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS received

5 reviews in 3 days with a staggering 24 out of 25 stars, bringing it to a total of 39 reviews on Amazon.com.

It also entered the US charts on Amazon.com for the first time 
#90 in Kindle Store / Kindle eBooks / Literature & Fiction / Jewish 425829_471091442942720_930460501_n

 

Oleg Medvedkov is one of the Top 300 (320) reviewers on Amazon, a successful blogger and renowned writer himself. His praise and the unexpected 5 star review have made my day.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1QMSNE2W1FVXI/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00AFQC4QC&linkCode&nodeID&tag

as has this glowing review by Ashley Lee

http://www.amazon.com/review/RC1GTC6P42WIM/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00AFQC4QC&linkCode&nodeID&tag

quotes from the last 5 reviews

 

The suspense at several key points was masterfully done and I found myself holding my breath, tensing up and being unable to stop reading until I knew everyone was safe.

a really good book. the luck book

*****

absorbing and utterly convincing

a writer completely confident in his material and research.

Christoph is meticulous in his approach and has the gifts of a natural story teller. I suspect that this is only the first in a long line of must read books.

*****

an important historical rendition of wartime Eastern Europe that will continue to haunt you for a long time after you finish reading it.
…characters are all strong fictional creations that give life and credibility to the historical backdrop.
It is a touching story of courage, love and heroic endurance in a time of abject cruelty and terror.
The players in this drama are far from being two-dimensional; even the cold, unfeeling characters will at times show a glimmer of warmth.
Be prepared for emotional upheaval while reading this– you cannot remain untouched. 

My biggest fan

My biggest fan

*****

What this book reminds us of, is that the “quiet” and “acceptable” racism, just like the veiled racism we can often see just by looking outside of the window, is NOT acceptable. All it takes is one crazy ideology or an opportunistic politician, and we could still relieve the horrors of concentration camps and mass graves. Still, this is not a political book. It’s a human story, with love, betrayals, and hope. I don’t want to give away the spoilers, so do pick up this book and read it. You won’t be disappointed.

*****

This story – the tale of two families – will captivate readers immediately and hold them mesmerized until the final page.
It is a gripping tale and incredibly thrilling. Among all World War II historical fiction novels I would certainly place this within the must-read books.

I was enamored with this story and only regret that I read it so quickly. 8679_571267166258697_1624968188_n

This is a book that deserves to be read slowly and pleasurably.

*****

In other news:

THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS

is No. 5 at the http://www.theindietribe.com/category/top-fiction-books/ sebastian book

and SEBASTIAN is No. 2 

 

*****

As reviewer I have also news:

First I received this email:

On behalf of the Goodreads team, I want to say thank you.  You’re in the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! Your many thoughtful book reviews help make us a vibrant place for book lovers.

And our community has been growing! We now number more than 20 million members on Goodreads.

And then one of my preview reviews was chosen for netgalley with this note:

“This is a very powerful and stimulating read and rewarding with its intellectual depth . . .” Said Christoph Fischer, UK author, freelance editor and professional reviewer. “McGonall’s command of language is superb; whether it is casual conversation or speech between the gods and legacy members, he always finds the right tone to draw [readers] into that specific sphere or world . . . This is unlike other books I have read.”

 

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