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The ease of access to the 'delete' button means that Facebook can swiftly degenerate into something slightly less mature than a kids playground, triggering depression and all manner of social demons.At it's worst it became a black hole, sucking in my free time, my emotions and what often felt like my sanity. If any of the above sounds familiar to you, I'd advise you to leave now. That was not just a spectacular loss of money, it was the loss of several fortunes.”De Waal treads a fine line between a biography of his family and an historical fiction of their life and times.There are no references or notes (yet there are plenty of quotes from contemporary documents}, which tends to push the book more towards an historical fiction.I really have little sympathy for these entrepreneurial money men and their partners; We are asked to admire them and in the end I don’t and what is worse I don’t even care about them.A very personal view of a book that just isn’t for me, therefore 3 stars Hi Barry - you have some very interested reads coming up.De Waal adopts the same approach when he moves the book to Vienna, the reader is asked to stand with him while he explores the old family home.We are exhorted to imagine what Victor felt like when the Allied terms for settlement after the first world war caused inflation to cycle out of control:“Viktor looked into his own vacuum: in the safe at the office the Schottengasse were stacks of files of deeds and bonds and share certificates. As the citizen of a defeated power, all his assets in London and in Paris, the accounts that had been building in one city……been confiscated under the Allied terms of the punitive settlement…….
Some I ended up meeting in 'real life', others remained hundreds or thousands of miles away, yet somehow in my living room.Monson Tudor England by S T Bindoff Lives of the Artists Vasari The secret life of Nuns Pietro Aretino Hmmmm........... The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal On the whole I found Waal’s book a disappointment.I just could not get worked up about a super rich family losing their possessions and this was Waal’s fault because he has made this biography so personal.They were also active in Paris and this is where the book starts with Charles Ephrussi who was an art love, flaneur, and perhaps a little dilettante.The family business was centred in Vienna where the palace Ephrussi was built to celebrate their wealth and prosperity.