Critics Praise An American in Vienna
Founded in 1933, Kirkus has been an authoritative voice in book discovery for almost 80 years. When books become available for purchase, Kirkus provides reviews to consumers in a weekly email newsletter and on KirkusReviews.com, giving readers unbiased, critical recommendations they can trust. September, 2012
This company which is the gold standard in reviews of self-published work awards Reviewer’s Choice designation to An American In Vienna: “Highly informative about the origins of WWI, with fidelity to historical details, a brisk narrative arc, and a strong anti-war and pro-America message, this novel is a thoroughly rewarding read.” - August 2012
“ This is a beautifully written story that brought out a flood of emotions …An American in Vienna is a wonderful read. You are transported to 1914 Europe at the beginning of WWI … this book has painted a beautiful picture of the history and landscape of a country I would love to see … I truly fell in love with each and every character … You don’t have to be a fan of war stories either to read this book. There is plenty of romance and history to keep you wanting more.” – September 2011
“An American In Vienna is a very unique book … Using the character Andy Bishop as the storytelling conduit is a master stroke … sheer brilliance … We are exposed to how this war … forever changed the world map. Historical Fiction is a hard taskmaster. The author must weave the fiction elements into the harsh reality of the facts. When done well (a rare occurrence) you have a book where fact and fiction blend so well that the reader does not know where one ends, and the other begins. These are lofty goals. Chip Wagar is to be congratulated; he has taken a very complex political history subject and presented it in a fashion that any reader will enjoy … it is a book that has wide and diverse appeal. You can read it as a great adventure novel, or you can read it as a very interesting discussion of the causes and in some ways effects of World War One viewed from the Austrian perspective. This is a book destined for great things.” July 25, 2011
What would you do if you suddenly found out that your ancestors were of European nobility yet left their life of wealth and privilege to live as commoners in America? An American in Vienna begins by introducing …Andy Bishop, a young man from Ohio with mysterious roots in Austria. The investigation starts innocently enough but quickly takes a backseat when Austria is thrust into the First World War. Instead, he begins to put his journalistic training to work as he begins writing on the war and local attitudes under the byline ‘An American in Vienna.’ With his Viennese family assisting his efforts and a beautiful Austrian countess distracting him … will he ever discover why his family left their life of privilege for America? … Chip Wagar includes … vivid descriptions of the places he sets his story – both the true-to-life details as well as the fictional additions. As a ‘seven year resident’ of Europe I’ve visited most of the places Wagar describes, to include Vienna and the spot in Sarajevo where Franz Ferdinand was killed, and found the novel to be simply delightful … Vicki Landes, June, 2011
The book has a lot of modern relevance … addressing the issues of terrorism and the consequences of war, making it very relatable. In Andy Bishop’s journey through the story he encounters young fanatics determined to destroy a country, which is very reminiscent of the United States’ current battle with terrorism. The story line provides a lot with a romantic plot line, a plethora of historical knowledge, and a moral debate of will history always be doomed to repeat itself?
Readers Comments: Random thoughts on An American in Vienna from the people
Fans of historical fiction – try this one! – An American in Vienna winds its way through one of the most remarkable eras in history – the passing of the “old world” and the birth of modern Europe and America. It’s like you are the proverbial fly on the wall as you are treated to a first-hand look at the Habsburg Empire as it teeters into collapse. The story is told by a young American who is visiting Vienna and is swept into the events that begin WWI. The novel is rich in detail but not bogged down by it. It covers some of the lesser known battles that take place on the Eastern Front as Austria and Germany battle Russia, and brings them vibrantly to life. So much has been written about WWII, this is a welcome addition for people who love historical fiction and would like to waltz through Vienna, sit at a cafe in WWI Paris, charge into battle and get a front row seat for events that still impact our world today. Most importantly, it is told not by a political scientist but vividly by wonderful characters you will remember for a long time. February 2, 2011 – By Bibliophilos
What a great find this book was! It’s been 20 years since I did a study abroad program in Vienna, and I was feeling nostalgic about my trip. So I looked on Amazon for an historical fiction book about turn of the century Vienna. I had studied the art, architecture, history and literature from that time period when I was there. This book was about that and a lot more. I think it captured the tone of that unique era, as well as the general tone of the Austrian people. And then the second half of the book turned into great story about World War I. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. February 12, 2012 - Tina – Goodreads
A gem of historical fiction and a great read … Chip Wagar deftly transports his readers to the last days of the Hapsburg Empire and the tragic days of WWI. He has created characters that not only bring history to life, but with whom we can easily empathize. He possesses a wonderful ability to draw the reader into history, skillfully weaving details of the complexity of the Eastern front of the War into his book, while still presenting an intelligent and tremendously entertaining story. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a book so much. I found that the events lingered in my thoughts – a mark of a good author! I was sorry when the last chapter came to an end. Highly recommended book! June 14, 2012 By Suz M – Amazon.com
Suspenseful, exciting WWI novel … Chip Wagar’s first novel offers a wonderfully detailed, suspenseful tale told from the point of view of a young American who comes to Vienna just as WWI breaks out. Aside from the young reporter’s experiences in Vienna, the plot moves to exotic locations, in wonderful detail and insightful knowledge of the national character of the Viennese and other Europeans. The historical background is meticulously detailed, but the whole novel is a fun read that is hard to put down. As one other reviewer remarked, the ending leaves the hope of sequel open. The colorful images of Vienna, Paris and other European cities swirl in your head long after you finish the novel — the sign of a great book. I loved it! July 4, 2011 By Avidreader
An original, historically brilliant take on a coming of age love story … A very entertaining read. Part coming of age novel, part romance novel, and part war novel, but above all a very insightful portrayal of Austrian society at the beginning of World War I. The author combines a sure hand with a light touch in revealing the intricacies of the protocols and politics of the Habsburg royal family, the intellectual climate of early 20th century Vienna cafe society, and perspectives on the first world war that will be unfamiliar to most Americans. All of these themes, as well numerous – and often brilliant – historical observations are seamlessly woven into a well paced love story that successfully manages to incorporate the melancholy of the era in which it is set. Clearly the author has a deep affection for both period and place, as well as a prodigious grasp of its history. As a fine work of historical fiction, An American in Vienna is a welcome respite from the “who dunnit” novels that currently dominate the genre. Hopefully we will be reading more from Mr. Wagar in the future. February 25, 2011 – By Bengol
Read this book while traveling between Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Gave a good in depth look at the Habsburg dynasty and WWI. Historically gave an accurate refresher and weaves it with a great story. Highly recommend to anyone considering a trip to eastern Europe or interest in the region. July 30, 2012 – Susan – Goodreads
Honorable Mention …
An American in Vienna was selected by Barnes & Noble for their Rising Star Collection . Check it out at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-american-in-vienna-chip-wagar/1030971371?ean=9781450267663
Chip Wagar’s interview by Irene Watson at Inside Scoop Live about An American in Vienna.
Chip Wagar interviewed about An American in Vienna on ToGiNet Radio by Steve Jorgensen.
Chip Wagar was a Featured Author on the Just Imagine in Ink website for new authors and books for the novel An American in Vienna. Check it out athttp://www.justimagineitink.com/featured-author.html.
An American in Vienna
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for ReaderViews (6/11)