Developing stories

The Collected Novellas of Stefan Zweig - book review

Stefan Zweig came rather late for me, somewhere between The Grand Budapest Hotel and this handsome collection of five novellas. I was partly put off by the recent starburst of Zweigmania, which pulled in everyone from Wes Anderson to Salman Rushdie. Rather more intimidating was Michael Hoffman's derision about Zweig's “putrid” prose. This even extended to his suicide note: “one feels the irritable rise of boredom halfway through”.