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This title in other editions

The Glass Room

by

The Glass Room Cover

ISBN13: 9781590513965
ISBN10: 1590513967
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Honeymooners Viktor and Liesel Landauer are filled with the optimism and cultural vibrancy of central Europe of the 1920s when they meet modernist architect Rainer von Abt. He builds for them a home to embody their exuberant faith in the future, and the Landauer House becomes an instant masterpiece.

Viktor and Liesel, a rich Jewish mogul married to a thoughtful, modern gentile, pour all of their hopes for their marriage and budding family into their stunning new home, filling it with children, friends, and a generation of artists and thinkers eager to abandon old-world European style in favor of the new and the avant-garde. But as life intervenes, their new home also brings out their most passionate desires and darkest secrets. As Viktor searches for a warmer, less challenging comfort in the arms of another woman, and Liesel turns to her wild, mischievous friend Hana for excitement, the marriage begins to show signs of strain. The radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 quickly evaporate beneath the storm clouds of World War II. As Nazi troops enter the country, the family must leave their old life behind and attempt to escape to America before Viktor's Jewish roots draw Nazi attention, and before the family itself dissolves.

As the Landauers struggle for survival abroad, their home slips from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet possession and finally back to the Czechoslovak state, with new inhabitants always falling under the fervent and unrelenting influence of the Glass Room. Its crystalline perfection exerts a gravitational pull on those who know it, inspiring them, freeing them, calling them back, until the Landauers themselves are finally drawn home to where their story began.

Brimming with barely contained passion and cruelty, the precision of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the fear of failure — The Glass Room contains it all.

Review:

"A stirring new novel that almost won this year's Booker Prize....The Glass Room works so effectively because Mawer embeds...provocative aesthetic and moral issues in a war-torn adventure story that's eerily erotic and tremendously exciting....[a] gorgeous novel." The Washington Post

Review:

"[The Glass Room is] a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry... a novel of ideas, yet strongly propelled by plot and characterized by an almost dreamlike simplicity of telling. Comparisons with the work of Michael Frayn would not be misplaced, and there are occasional moments of illuminating brilliance..." The Guardian

Review:

"In Mawer's hands [The Glass Room] becomes a means for exploring the way people's hopes for the future become part of their history. This he does beautifully." Times Literary Supplement

Review:

"The Jewish fates of Viktor, Kata and others are lightly handled, which seems just right in this optimistic, joyful but never facile vision of human achievement. Mawer's perfect pacing clinches a wholly enjoyable and moving read." The Independent

Review:

"The Glass Room['s] poetic success is to remind us of two great gilt-edged ironies: that whatever is held to be the height of modernity is already en route to the museum, and that even 'cold' art is the embodiment of its maker's passion — one that can prove contagious." The Financial Times

Review:

"Simon Mawer's grasp of period and place achieves what all great novels must: the creation of an utterly absorbing world the reader can scarcely bear to leave. Exciting, profoundly affecting and altogether wonderful." Daily Mail

Synopsis:

A New York Times Best-Seller

Honeymooners Viktor and Liesel Landauer are filled with the optimism and cultural vibrancy of central Europe of the 1920s when they meet modernist architect Rainer von Abt. He builds for them a home to embody their exuberant faith in the future, and the Landauer House becomes an instant masterpiece.  Viktor and Liesel, a rich Jewish mogul married to a thoughtful, modern gentile, pour all of their hopes for their marriage and budding family into their stunning new home, filling it with children, friends, and a generation of artists and thinkers eager to abandon old-world European style in favor of the new and the avant-garde. But as life intervenes, their new home also brings out their most passionate desires and darkest secrets. As Viktor searches for a warmer, less challenging comfort in the arms of another woman, and Liesel turns to her wild, mischievous friend Hana for excitement, the marriage begins to show signs of strain. The radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 quickly evaporate beneath the storm clouds of World War II. As Nazi troops enter the country, the family must leave their old life behind and attempt to escape to America before Viktor's Jewish roots draw Nazi attention, and before the family itself dissolves.

As the Landauers struggle for survival abroad, their home slips from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet possession and finally back to the Czechoslovak state, with new inhabitants always falling under the fervent and unrelenting influence of the Glass Room. Its crystalline perfection exerts a gravitational pull on those who know it, inspiring them, freeing them, calling them back, until the Landauers themselves are finally drawn home to where their story began.

Brimming with barely contained passion and cruelty, the precision of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the fear of failure - the Glass Room contains it all.

About the Author

Simon Mawer was born in England and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus, and in Malta. His previous novels include The Fall (winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize), The Gospel of Judas, and Mendel's Dwarf (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize). He now lives in Italy with his wife and teaches at St. George's British International School in Rome.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 5 comments:

cccleveland, May 26, 2013 (view all comments by cccleveland)
One of the best books I have ever read, if not the very best. This book makes you feel a gauntlet of emotions. Though a fairly quick read you cannot give up on the book. At times I felt the book to progress rather slowly; but, looking back on it now I feel as though this feeling was due to my own preconceived perception of how the book would progress. Now I feel every word was there for a reason.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
DL, January 8, 2012 (view all comments by DL)
One of THE very best books I have ever read about WWII. Extremely well written, it had me from the first page. A great mix of history, tragedy and love. Would highly recommend it to any history buffs looking for a twist. Can't wait to read another book by Simon Mawer.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Nanny, September 28, 2011 (view all comments by Nanny)
This a story of an unusual house and those who inhabit it. Mawer's writing pulls the reader into a sensual and sophisticated world which begins just prior to the start of WW II. His characters are captivating and the tale is gripping. I found this book hard to put down.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590513965
Author:
Mawer, Simon
Publisher:
Other Press (NY)
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Architecture, modern
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;czechoslovakia;wwii;architecture;holocaust;historical fiction;novel;jews;1930s;british;21st century;modernism;literature;judaism;booker prize;love;war;historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20091031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Glass Room Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Other Press - English 9781590513965 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A stirring new novel that almost won this year's Booker Prize....The Glass Room works so effectively because Mawer embeds...provocative aesthetic and moral issues in a war-torn adventure story that's eerily erotic and tremendously exciting....[a] gorgeous novel."
"Review" by , "[The Glass Room is] a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry... a novel of ideas, yet strongly propelled by plot and characterized by an almost dreamlike simplicity of telling. Comparisons with the work of Michael Frayn would not be misplaced, and there are occasional moments of illuminating brilliance..."
"Review" by , "In Mawer's hands [The Glass Room] becomes a means for exploring the way people's hopes for the future become part of their history. This he does beautifully."
"Review" by , "The Jewish fates of Viktor, Kata and others are lightly handled, which seems just right in this optimistic, joyful but never facile vision of human achievement. Mawer's perfect pacing clinches a wholly enjoyable and moving read."
"Review" by , "The Glass Room['s] poetic success is to remind us of two great gilt-edged ironies: that whatever is held to be the height of modernity is already en route to the museum, and that even 'cold' art is the embodiment of its maker's passion — one that can prove contagious."
"Review" by , "Simon Mawer's grasp of period and place achieves what all great novels must: the creation of an utterly absorbing world the reader can scarcely bear to leave. Exciting, profoundly affecting and altogether wonderful."
"Synopsis" by , A New York Times Best-Seller

Honeymooners Viktor and Liesel Landauer are filled with the optimism and cultural vibrancy of central Europe of the 1920s when they meet modernist architect Rainer von Abt. He builds for them a home to embody their exuberant faith in the future, and the Landauer House becomes an instant masterpiece.  Viktor and Liesel, a rich Jewish mogul married to a thoughtful, modern gentile, pour all of their hopes for their marriage and budding family into their stunning new home, filling it with children, friends, and a generation of artists and thinkers eager to abandon old-world European style in favor of the new and the avant-garde. But as life intervenes, their new home also brings out their most passionate desires and darkest secrets. As Viktor searches for a warmer, less challenging comfort in the arms of another woman, and Liesel turns to her wild, mischievous friend Hana for excitement, the marriage begins to show signs of strain. The radiant honesty and idealism of 1930 quickly evaporate beneath the storm clouds of World War II. As Nazi troops enter the country, the family must leave their old life behind and attempt to escape to America before Viktor's Jewish roots draw Nazi attention, and before the family itself dissolves.

As the Landauers struggle for survival abroad, their home slips from hand to hand, from Czech to Nazi to Soviet possession and finally back to the Czechoslovak state, with new inhabitants always falling under the fervent and unrelenting influence of the Glass Room. Its crystalline perfection exerts a gravitational pull on those who know it, inspiring them, freeing them, calling them back, until the Landauers themselves are finally drawn home to where their story began.

Brimming with barely contained passion and cruelty, the precision of science, the wild variance of lust, the catharsis of confession, and the fear of failure - the Glass Room contains it all.

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