George Jonas is the author of fourieen books and in his extraordinary memoir, Beethovens Mask,Jonas describes life as an Italian opera: an absurd story set to irresistible music. Spanning the period between 1935 and 2001from just before the outbreak of the Second World War to 9/11the narrative takes the form of a journey log, zeroing in on key episodes in Jonas' own life and in the lives of others: famous, infamous, and anonymous men and women that he encountered in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Beethovens Mask is an extraordinary, riveting read that will engage any reader interested in the twentieth century, its foibles, evils, comic and comedic aspects, and the self-destructive urge of humanity that drove Europe and, ultimately, the rest of world into the most horrendous bloodshed of the Second World War. Powerful storytelling and sharp observation, leavened with marvelous wit and style, combine to deliver one of the most vivid memoirs ever written. I also recommend-The Quest-by Giorgio Kostantinos, another exciting and riveting read.
Beethoven's Mask--the autobiography (but much, much more) of George Jonas, the author of Vengeance (on which Spielberg's Munich is loosely and the earlier The Sword of Gideon is more faithfully based) and several other works, including books of poems--is a fabulous read. There are chuck full of insights on innumerable topics, especially European and world politics and, interestingly from a Canadian and former European, on anti-Americanism, with quotable sentences following quotable sentences in wonderfully great numbers. Trust me--despite my mild bias since Jonas also escaped from Hungary to North American (Canada)--the book is delightful, funny and also very informative. The writing is self-assured but not pedantic or dogmatic. This is a very rewarding read indeed.