4. Vienna Prelude

By Bodie & Brock Thoene

Rating:  3 out of 5

I received this book at last year’s book club book exchange.  Each December we exchange books White Elephant style.

This book was a drag.  I enjoy WWII stories, but this was terribly slow.


This book is a WWII story that takes place in Europe.


  • Ernestine – violinist in 1972, who purchases a 1674 Guarnerius violin with an unknown history.
  • Elisa Linder (Lindheim) – Jewish violinist in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Leah Goldblatt – Jewish cellist in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Rudy Dorbransky – violinist in the orchestra, addicted to gambling, owner of a 1674 Guarnerius
  • Shimon Fieldstein – percussionist
  • Stephan Gunther – would-be betrayer of the Nazi cause
  • Franz, Otto, Gretchen, Marta, and Karl Wattenbarger – farmers/ranchers? in the Alps
  • Anna, Wilhelm, and Dieter Linder – Elisa’s mother and brothers
  • John Murphy – an American journalist
  • Thomas Von Kleistmann- Elisa’s “ex” boyfriend, no longer allowed to have a relationship with a Jew
  • Theo Lindheim – Elisa’s father, German war hero, wealthy Jewish businessman
On page 38:  “Letters from Thomas von Kleistmann had been burned unopened rather than returned to him at the risk of Gestapo interception.”  I’m sure this will turn out to be the stupid decision it sounds like.  It will turn out there were important things in those letters.
I haven’t posted much here, because the book just isn’t doing much for me.  I’ve got some notes on paper I’ll add later.  I’m within 100 pages of the end.
Chapter 29 mentioned the word “Dachau” way too many times.
On page 304, I wondered why Nazis weren’t searching the train as they were the last time Elisa was on the train.  Around page 370, I was gagging over the misunderstanding between Elisa and Murphy.
  • p12 – “t” should be “at”
  • p20 – “anxiouis” should be anxious
  • p29 – ‘is” should be “his”
  • p44 – “ay” should be “say”
  • p88 – “this should be “his”
  • p108 – “shave nd” should be “shaved”
  • p190 – “athered” should be “gathered”
  • p335 – “awas” should be “was” and “ast” should be “last”
  • p373 – Multiple words seem to be missing at the top of the page.
  • p395 – “he’ should be “she”
  • p398 – “this” should be “his”
  • p419 – “Skies ran in” should be “spies”?

Buy this book from Barnes & Noble


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