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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (Unabridged)

by Edmund de Waal

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Winner of the 2010 COSTA Biography Award. A total of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: potter Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in the Tokyo apartment of his Great Uncle Iggie. Later, when Edmund inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined.... The Ephrussis came from Odessa, and at one time were the largest grain exporters in the world; in the 1870s, Charles Ephrussi was part of a wealthy new generation settling in Paris. Marcel Proust was briefly his secretary and used Charles as the model for the aesthete Swann in Remembrance of Things Past. Charles's passion was collecting; the netsuke, bought when Japanese objects were all the rage in the salons, were sent as a wedding present to his banker cousin in Vienna. Later, three children - including a young Ignace - would play with the netsuke as history reverberated around them. The Anschluss and Second World War swept the Ephrussis to the brink of oblivion. Almost all that remained of their vast empire was the netsuke collection, smuggled out of the huge Viennese palace (then occupied by Hitler's theorist on the 'Jewish Questionᅵᅵ), one piece at a time, in the pocket of a loyal maid - and hidden in a straw mattress. In this stunningly original memoir, Edmund de Waal travels the world to stand in the great buildings his forebears once inhabited. He traces the network of a remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. And, in prose as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves, he tells the story of a unique collection which passed from hand to hand - and which, in a twist of fate, found its way home to Japan. This audio edition also features an interview with Edmund De Waal from the Vintage Books podcast.

Customer Reviews

Foreign language content frequently mispronounced

As informed literary fans and readers will know, this is a gripping novel about the history of a Central European banking family from 1871 to 2009. Most of the action is set in Paris, Vienna, Tokyo, Odessa and England. Consequently the author uses French, Japanese and German terms, phrases and names where no translation will do. It is a sign of ignorance that neither the narrator Michael Malloney nor the director bothered to check the pronunciation of the foreign language content of this family memoir. It is annoying and mis-leading that not even the term "netsuke" is pronounced correctly, which is key to the story and mentioned dozens of times. Poorly done, Random House - do it again!

£11 honestly ???

I've already bought the book. £11 for the audio is a crazy price.

Not complete

The book cuts out half way through!

Edmund de Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance (Unabridged)
View in iTunes £10.95
  • Narrator: Michael Maloney
  • Published: 2011

Customer Ratings