The Gilded Chalet: Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland by Padraig Rooney is a non-fiction book where the author writes interesting anecdotes about famous writers who have lived, and were inspired by Switzerland. The author, a teacher at an international school and has won awards for his poetry.
- 228 pages
- Publisher: Nicholas Brealey
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857886364
The Gilded Chalet: Off-Piste in Literary Switzerland by Padraig Rooney is an interesting and well written book. Not only does the author delve on literary greats, but also about Swiss culture, their affinity for order, espionage, money laundering and, of course, neutrality.
Mr. Rooney, an adopted child of Switzerland, likes his country very much. He writes about places and people in an easy to understand language, and paints a vivid pictures in the reader’s mind. The author uses contemporary culture icons (and pop-culture as well) to help the reader envision those he writes about (Jean-Jacques Rousseau is written of as the Salman Rushdie of the 18th Century).
The book was written in English, but if I didn’t know better I could have sworn it was a translation. There is just some exotic about translated books, the language which tries to capture the original but no sound foreign, which this book has.
For any lover of literature and trivia, this book is a gem. Not only about literary greats, but also about Switzerland and the morose atmosphere so conducive to espionage and financial shenanigans. As a fan of James Bond, I found the chapter about Ian Fleming fascinating, but to my surprise not necessarily my favorite, that was kept for the wonderful section about Isabelle Eberhardt, whom I never read but certainly want to now.
Zohar — Man of la Book
Disclaimer: I got this book for free.
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