Good Living Street by Tim Bonyhady

Good Living Street

Vienna and its Secessionist movement at the turn of the last century is the focus of this extraordinary social portrait told through an eminent Viennese family, headed by Hermine and Moriz Gallia, who were among the great patrons of early-twentieth-century Viennese culture at its peak. Good Living Street takes us from the Gallias’ middle-class prosperity in the provinces of central Europe to their arrival in Vienna, following the provision of ...

Details Good Living Street

TitleGood Living Street
Release DateNov 15th, 2011
GenreHistory, Biography, Nonfiction, Art, Family, War, World War II

Reviews Good Living Street

  • Sheila
    My interests in World War II touch on the disposition of art during and after the war. I have had this interest since I wrote my first paper on it in high school which was regarding the disposition of so called "degenerate art" and artists. Tim Bonyhady wrote a book about his family. His mother was born into a very rich family in Vienna. Her name was Annelore, her mother's name Gretl Gallia. Annelore's father's name was Paul Herschmann. Her paren...
  • Mark
    My pick for best book of 2011 came to me late. Just published in November, Good Living Street tells the story of Moritz and Hermine Gallia and their family in the context of 20th century Vienna. Moritz Gallia was a wealthy industrialist who made his money in the manufacture of specialised fittings for the gas lamps that lit homes and businesses before the use of electricity became widespread. Like many other wealthy Jews, the Gallias, prompted by...
  • Dilly Dalley
    Good Living Street was a story of persecution, privilege, dislocation, survival and grief - but ultimately about identity, art and belonging. "Who do I belong to?" seemed to resonate through the pages. "Where do I belong?" "What are my memories?" "What are the stories I tell the world?" And the trauma of it all - the suffering that ricocheted across the world, down through the ages, through the lives of Tim Bonyhady's family. It was well worth re...
  • Jan Hemphill
    True and detailed account of the author’s family history over the last century, particularly the effects of Hitler and anti-semitism in Germany (and, even, to a lesser extent in Australia). As well as the broad scope of history’s events, the historian author thoughtfully explores the attitudes of his family in various generations, and the pressures on them as they strive to live a full and cultured life in society. Because of the huge amount ...
  • EF
    An exhaustively researched, well-written, ultimately gripping story of the Gallia family's support of Vienna artists and artisans (most prominently, Klimt and Hoffmann) at the turn of the century--and of their subsequent persecution at the hands of the Third Reich, who stripped the family of its possessions as the Nazis rose to power. Following the family from 1903 to 1939 (when the author's grandmother and great-grandmother escaped the Holocaust...
  • Marilyn
    I read the whole book. I was interested in the life style and business of the upper class jews in Vienna around 1900. How did they escape in 1938? It is readable and very practacle in the descriptions, and the authors family is interesting and lively. He writes well and does not use a chronology to frame the book but social things like concerts, or photography or art openings or Gretl. The book really did a good job of framing escape ,to refugee ...
  • Kristine
    Family history might be fun to research and interesting for the family, but please spare the rest of us from the tedium. It read very much like a project report (author telling us where he cleverly sourced information that led to the conclusion), interspersed with factual accounts of culture and place (mostly well known stuff presented in unengaging manner), and a few vignettes of family story. Long, dull and tedious.
  • Lyn Elliott
    I can't remember now whether this book was launched at the same time as the Art Gallery of Victoria (in Melbourne, Australia) staged an exhibition on modernist arts and design in Vienna, but it could and should have been.The great furniture settings from his family's Vienna apartment were a high point of the exhibition, for which we also have the catalogue. Terrific. And good to read before we actually went to Vienna several years ago.
  • Gail
    I read the entire book but couldn't wait to finish it. Perhaps it would have been better if somebody else wrote it. Dull, plodding and deadening prose.
  • Jo Ellen
    Fascinating read based on diaries, papers, and research of a prominent Jewish family over decades from their move to Vienna, through WW I, and finally during their escape to Australia during WWII. I will never look at Austria and Vienna through the same lens again. Quite frankly, if it were not for upcoming trip to Vienna for a few days, I would not have picked up this nonfiction selection to read. Much is learned about Austrian culture through t...
  • Amy
    The words that come to mind are "Labor of Love." It was so inspiring that this author was able to follow the clues and solve the mystery of the story of his own family's history. I can understand why so many readers were befuddled and bogged down by the level of detail provided. The author worked so hard to provide the complete picture so we could see where the individuals fit. It was overwhelming at times, but in the end, I was truly touched by ...
  • Bronwyn Mcloughlin
    I really enjoyed this one, especially for its Australian flavor. Not too long, and because I love family stories, it really resonated with me, the quirks and idiosyncrasies of families uncovered and laid bare, put into context and added to family story.
  • Marla
    A very dry boring account of World War II era in Vienna. Reads like a text book. No emotion.
  • Nalini Naidu
    I admire Bonyhady for the extensive research including visiting overseas countries for this book. I did not get engrossed from the beginning but when I did get into it, I wanted to keep reading mainly to learn more about the characters lives.Loved hearing about Vienna with its richness of art, architecture, design & music & accessibility to these. Having recently visited Vienna, I was very interested to learn more of its history. Some details abo...
  • Barbara
    The blurb on the cover says that this book is "glittering" but the only things that glitter are the jewels and works of art which the author describes in mind-numbing detail. Another piece of blurb calls it "rich in texture", but in fact the texture is flat with clumsily-formed sentences and some infelicitous use of language. Another reviewer calls it "deeply affecting" - well, no, these are people who don't spring off the page at you or come to ...
  • Keith Johnstone
    A very moving and well told story. It’s strange to think of this family as lucky to have escaped the Nazi death camps yet there lost was still profound and clearly has impacted generations. Interestingly highlights the Australian Government’s terrible treatment of modern day refugees
  • Mariavv
    This book is more of a slow-moving, gossipy collection of coming-of-age stories than a sweeping overview of Viennese history at the beginning of the 20th century, but I really enjoyed it. It is based mostly on the diaries of the author's grandmother and mother, and though he admits he didn't have all that much material to go on (his mother threw out most of the family archives when he was young) he paints an interesting picture especially of his ...
  • Frances Johnson
    Good book. This is not just a tale about the author's family and how his parents escaped the Nazis. And while it is about his family and how they managed to get to Australia, it is also about a family who was a patron of the arts in the early 20th century. How they saved their collections from the Nazis is only part of the picture. It's a vivid glimps of life in Vienna before the Nazis. But more importantly, it explains how many Jewish survivors ...
  • Sherry Mackay
    3.5 really. Interesting but very disjointed. The first part of the book is a history of the Viennese art scene at the start of the 20th century then it segues into the story of his grandmother as a young woman. There is mention of his mother's story but he doesn't actually give much away about his parents, especially his father. He makes a lot of allusions to things that may have happened but doesn't seem to have actually found out what did happe...
  • Andrew
    Similar to Anne-Marie O'connor's "The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" this book chronicles a portrait by Klimt and the people around it. She was rich, but in the same social circles as Bloch-Bauer.Very good background to the artist, the artistic scene of the time; and he puts it in context of the history going on around it.It would have benefitted from a more extensive family tree...
  • Troy
    A marvelous insight into a shimmering time in Vienna's history. The sad descent into the Nazi era is wonderfully counterbalanced by the story of the family's escape.
  • Marj
    3.5*. Improved as the book progressed. More interested in the people than the 'things'.
  • Louise
    link to publisher website with the author
  • Margaret Williams
    Interesting story of the author's Jewish roots pre-war in Vienna and post-war in Australia. The author is an academic which may explain why the book did read a little like a PhD thesis.
  • Jeanette
    A wonderful book of a destroyed world.
  • Claudia
    Very informative and interesting to read.