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.