Wednesday, March 09, 2011
"' Cause in Vienna... we were poetry..."
Everyone in the world knows that I am obsessed with Vienna. It is my dream city: a frothy, baroque sphere of ornate fairytale. Tall spires, lush, ornamented buildings, hundreds of gardens sprawling between wrought iron gates, music and cobblestones.
Pastries and ice cream at every corner, fountains reaching the sky, harsh accents and the lyrical cadence of a city separated by rings… a sort of perpetual merry-go-round waltz.
Yes, I am obsessed.
I lived in Vienna imaginatively and mentally and spiritually for years ( since I was 11). When I finally visited last summer and all of its shiny, musical splendour kept me exploring and peeking past every walled gate, palace and crevice, I realized that ( in ironic wonderfulness) it had exceeded my expectations.
It’s a city I am aching to return to.
Every time I hear Mozart’s Konzert fur Flote, Harfe und Orchester, I am back in the Goldener Soll at the Musikverein, watching as men and women dressed to the nines splay their music affront glistening stands.
Every time I hear the espresso machine at Starbucks, I am back drinking weiner mélange at the Mozart Café in the Albertinaplatz ( I swear I tried at least 20 different coffees in Wien!)
I want to share these experiences with everyone and relive them in wonderful books.
So, I give you, a list of books that will take you to Vienna:
Vienna Requiem J. Sydney Jones
Vienna Blood Frank Tallis
A Death in Vienna Daniel Silva
The Seven Per Cent Solution Nicholas Meyer (Sherlock and Watson visit Sigmund Freud)
Vienna Prelude Bodie Thoene ( the novel that sparked my passion for the city at age 11)
The Morning Gift Eva Ibbotson ( a Viennese-born writer)
The World According to Garp John Irving (set partially in Vienna)
The Radetsky March Joseph Roth
Read more about John Irving’s passion for the city here.
What’s your favourite city ? What city would you most like to visit? Have you found books that immediately transport you there?