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The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance | [Edmund de Waal]

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

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.…
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Publisher's Summary

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 Question��), 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.

©2011 Edmund de Waal (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

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  • Amazon Customer
    United Kingdom
    9/17/11
    Overall
    "watching paint dry"

    After about an hour or so I gave up, it was pointless and a waste my time, I regret purchasing it in the first place,

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Little Whelnetham, United Kingdom
    9/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I am just so bored with this"
    Would you try another book written by Edmund de Waal or narrated by Michael Maloney?

    No


    Has The Hare with Amber Eyes put you off other books in this genre?

    Pretty much


    What three words best describe Michael Maloney’s voice?

    Clear, good diction


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom


    Any additional comments?

    Too slow, aching complicated to listen to and not able to really relate to the characters portrayed. Have not even got to the end of Part 1 and am not sure I have the will to continue

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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