Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Honestly, I requested this just because I wanted to read the essay about Bambi. I’ve read Bambi, Bambi’s Children, and Jibby the Cat and I didn’t know that Staten was Jewish. The title essay isn’t so much an essay about Bambi but a review of another author’s work about the question. Still, it’s entertaining and enlightening. I do wish there had been mention of the sequel, Bambi’s Children. But that aside, the thesis is aptly proved.
The book is more than literary essays, for it also covers history. While the reviews would have more impact on a reader if the reader is familiar with the works in question, they are still fun to read. For a reader, like moi, who hasn’t read some of the books and author that Reitter writes about, he does, at least in terms of positive reviews, want to make you read them.
There are some history essay as well, and these either review history books or history itself. The writing flows quite well and is a joy to read. The essay about Hitler and Vienna is thought provoking, and the over-whelming theme of Jewish culture in Vienna does make me want to read more about the subject.
And re-read Bambi.