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All for Love
by Dan Jacobson | Literature & Fiction
Registered by goodthinkingmax of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, February 24, 2006
Average 5 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by Shan80): travelling


9 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, February 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Purchased for the Booker Longlist challenge which involves participating in 17 bookrings. See fleebo's bookshelf for details.

Order of participants:

Viola7
Alectoness
woosang
fleebo
xoddam
puppymummy
starlight

From the back cover:

She was a princess, the daughter of perhaps the most hated king in Europe. He was just a lowly hussar. Their love affair in turn-of-the-century Vienna was to scandalize a continent.

The story of Princess Louise of Belgium and Geza Mattachich, stepson of a minor Croatian count, began with no more than an exchanged glance in a park. Yet the princess and her soldier, divided by wealth and status, pursued their devotion to one another through scandal, ruin, madness and imprisonment.

Dan Jacobson's brilliant imagining of this forgotten episode of the Hapsburg court brings to life one of the century's great love stories. 


Journal Entry 2 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, March 03, 2006

5 out of 10

The subject matter of this book interests me immensely and I usually adore historical novels but this one left me unsatisfied. Possibly I would have enjoyed learning about this era more from a history book!

Two devices the author used really aggravated me. I found the lengthy footnotes at the bottom of many pages very disruptive to the flow of the novel. I would have preferred either a straight biography or a novel not a mix of both. More annoying were the odd passages throughout the book which take the reader into confidence. They usually begin with something like "Imagine then.." Imagine this..imagine that..I was so aggravated I skipped most of these bits in the end. On page 212:

"Now imagine - or try to imagine - the newly freed Mattachich joining Maria and settling down with her to lead a commonplace, petit bourgeois life... You can't do it? No? Don't be disheartened."

Aaarrgghh. Jacobson has put me off the word "Imagine" for life and this journal entry has probably made all future journallers sensitive to every use of it. Oops.

To some extent Jacobson explains himself in the Author's Note at the end of the book but nevertheless I found the book very unfriendly at times!


A great tale but I did not find it engaging and felt very removed from the characters, their thoughts and lives.

Off to viola7 as we seem to have less Booker Longlist books than everyone else at present.
 


Journal Entry 3 by Viola7 from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Monday, March 13, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received today! This involves princesses and counts, adultery and duels and the Hapsburg Court. It looks like it has my name written all over it! Thank you, goodthinkingmax! 


Journal Entry 4 by Viola7 from Brisbane, Queensland Australia on Wednesday, March 22, 2006

8 out of 10

I really enjoyed this! It is based on the true story of Princess Louise, the unhappily married daughter of Leopold 1 (infamous for his cruelty in the Congo), who runs away with a handsome, younger army officer. A luscious novel set in the fin-de-siecle, it is very evocative of the era with its well-researched descriptions of the time.

It is a strange mixture of fact and fiction though, because the author uses a lot of footnotes as if he was writing a textbook. I liked them but understand that they could be annoying.

Also, I found his use of'imagine' grating as well, but it didn't deter me from finishing the book. It could have been left out though - it's his job to make us imagine things. He's the author! 


Journal Entry 5 by Alectoness from Wimbledon, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, April 01, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safe in New Zealand yesterday - thanks Viola7. I'm looking forward to reading it, though I'll also be looking out for "imagine". 


Journal Entry 6 by Alectoness from Wimbledon, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, April 08, 2006

6 out of 10

Well, this book has accompanied me back across the Tasman this week. And while I found it an interesting story about a royal 'scandal' I hadn't previously known about, and it helped pass the hours on the plane, I had similar issues to its previous readers with "how" the story was told.

When I read historical fiction - or indeed any fiction - I want to immerse myself into the world the author has created. I don't want to be constantly reminded that their is an author (by his use of "imagine that") or that I'm living in a different time to when the book is set (for example, when Jacobson points out that Maria did not have access to "rock concerts, web-sites, movies, the football world cup and so forth.")

Anyway, I have woosang's address here, so this book will be mailed on sometime today or tomorrow before I return to New Zealand. Thanks for starting this ring goodthinkingmax! 


Journal Entry 7 by woosang from Picton, New South Wales Australia on Monday, April 10, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received today, but am snowed unter with two books, I am finding a hard slog. I hope to get to it in the next few weeks.

 


Journal Entry 8 by woosang from Picton, New South Wales Australia on Friday, April 21, 2006

This book has not been rated.

AARGGHH NO!

I am sorry, I couldn't do it. I got to page 18 struggling to concentrate. The footnotes are SO annoying, the writing style is irritating, and I just had to put it in my bag and find a paper on the train. I am shipping this off to Fleebo before the book get accidently wild released on a train when I fall asleep.

At least I tried! 


Journal Entry 9 by Fleebo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, April 30, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received in the mail from woosang. Thank you! 


Journal Entry 10 by Fleebo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, May 21, 2006

6 out of 10

What a pair of babies. They surely deserved each other. And what kind of revenge is shopping? I have no sympathy at all for these rich fools, although I suppose that their constancy is to be commended.
As for the style of the book, those footnotes are reprehensible, and I stopped reading them very early on. The rest is amusing enough, but all over the place - scarcely touching points such as the death of Louise's only son, and then rambling at length about characters who are barely passing by.
Thanks very much for sharing the book. Now I will PM xoddam to pass it on. 


Journal Entry 11 by xoddam from Springwood, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, May 24, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Collected from Fleebo at Too's Canteen beneath her office. Many thanks. It's going on the list (I've got a little list and I'm sure they won't be missed...) 


Journal Entry 12 by xoddam from Springwood, New South Wales Australia on Monday, August 28, 2006

6 out of 10

Like This Thing of Darkness this is not quite a work of fiction, though the details of history (obtained from impassioned missives and memoirs rather than from scientific journals) are fleshed out with fabricated characterisations. I found this to be a rather strange read, in that it was all too easy to put aside in favour of other books (I've read four others since I first picked it up) yet while it was in my hands it was actually a bit of a page-turner. I was delighted by the feel it gave for the milieu, pleased by the connections I could draw between the multinational imperial Austrian military culture here and the ex-imperial Czech soldiers in Siberia from The People's Act of Love which I also read recently. But as others have written, the two principal characters are fairly unsympathetic, self-absorbed creatures and their story, while remarkable, isn't enough to sustain such a chatty novel. (Actually the author's chattiness occasionally drove me nuts, especially in contrast with the spurious academic footnotes. The reviews above make this irritating style abundantly clear. Harry Thompson got this right -- *copious*, fascinating, useful notes, *after* the text!)

It is only the astonishing and impressive intervention of Maria Stöger and her subsequent retreat from the affair with Mattachich without abandoning her admiration for the *ideal* of him, that makes this tale a heroic one instead of a mere "frivolous wassail."

I'll post this with In the Fold to puppymummy shortly. 


Journal Entry 13 by xoddam from Springwood, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I'm greatly embarrassed. The books were not posted when I said they were. I found them again in the still-open post satchel last night, beneath an avalanche of papers and other books. Now they *have* been posted. My sincere apologies. 


Journal Entry 14 by puppymummy from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

This has arrived safely, however I do have an exercise for you all.

Imagine that you were very busy for the entire month of August plus a few days either side, working two jobs to try to get ahead on the mortgage. Imagine that during this time, a large number of bookrings arrived because every time a PM arrived you thought 'well, it's only one more and this will be over soon'. Imagine that a number of them were Booker longlisted, so not exactly quick reading and some were the size and shape of a brick. Imagine the trauma of seeing FOUR books arrive in one day, on top of the already large pile of bookrings....
I think we all need a good lie down. Fortunately, I have put everyone off my journal entry by using the word 'Imagine', so my embarrassing predicament is almost not really public. Well, I have a dream.... 


Journal Entry 15 by puppymummy from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Saturday, December 30, 2006

6 out of 10

Finally made it through this one - although I'm not sure I'm pleased by that! The footnotes were really, really irritating - if it's important enough to include, then just put a quotation in the text! Footnotes shouldn't be more than the book reference imo, otherwise it's way too distracting.
I really didn't like the characters either, there was way too much using one another to prop up their own fantasies and I doubt there was much of the mutual understanding etc that you would expect in a normal relationship.
About halfway through I started skimreading to get past the annoying writing style, I'm glad I kept reading to hear about Maria's part but it's interesting how much of her role was motivated by wish-fulfilment also. A lot of unhappy people back then!
I'll pass this on to starlight at the next meetup. 


Journal Entry 16 by star-light from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, February 13, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received today. It's slimmer than I expected which I find extremely encouraging. I'll start reading this soon. 


Journal Entry 17 by star-light from Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

4 out of 10

Posted this back to goodthinkingmax today. Sorry for the delay, it has been a busy time for me.

Like some of the previous readers I had great difficulty with the writing style. The sentences were WAY too long and getting through them required too much concentration. I found the author's tone strangely dispassionate considering this was a love story, another reason why I had a hard time getting into this book. My only emotional response was a desire to slap all the characters involved. 


Journal Entry 18 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This book has returned home. "Imagine that". Thanks everyone. 


Journal Entry 19 by Shan80 from Sunshine Coast, not specified not specified on Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received from Goodthinkingmax. 


Journal Entry 20 by Shan80 from Sunshine Coast, not specified not specified on Friday, May 02, 2008

3 out of 10

I agree with previous readers of this book... the 'imagine' device is dreadful, as are the footnotes, the constant changing of tenses and the tendency of the author to tell you what's going to happen in the future instead of letting the story come to it naturally.

All this would be bearable, however, if it weren't for the subject material. The Princess Louise and her "lowly hussar" are truly obnoxious and revolting. I can't feel even a smidgen of empathy for either of them, and they deserved to be relegated to obscurity.

I'm halfway through and I just can't spend one more minute in the company of these odious people! Time to give up, life's too short.

Passed on to Nefertari112 with an advisory! ; ) 


Journal Entry 21 by Shan80 from Sunshine Coast, not specified not specified on Monday, April 05, 2010

This book has not been rated.

This has returned to me from Nefertari112 (who also hated it). Time for it to be released in the wild! 




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