Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What is Dan Vyleta reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Dan Vyleta, author of The Quiet Twin.

His entry begins:
Larry McMurtry’s Comanche Moon. I grew up watching John Ford Westerns, dubbed into German that is, which seems a little strange now, but felt entirely natural then. John Wayne was much revered in my house: to my parents who had fled communist Czechoslovakia his characters’ gruff non-conformism must have symbolized something, a mode of life and Weltanschauung denoted in our house by a puzzling one-word cipher: západ -- the occident, the west.

Larry McMurtry’s west is a different beast from Ford’s. Here, too, are the endless skies of Texas, the same yearning for the open prairie. But where Ford’s cowboys and pistoleros remain, at bottom, inscrutable, McMurtry...[read on]
About The Quiet Twin, from the publisher:
Political paranoia, dangerous liaisons, and defiant compassion mark Dan Vyleta's unforgettable journey into a cityscape of totalitarian dread and deception.

Vienna, 1939. Professor Speckstein's dog has been brutally killed, the latest victim in a string of unsolved murders. Speckstein wants answers-but these are uncharitable times, and one must be careful where one probes…

When an unexpected house call leads Dr. Beer to Speckstein's apartment, he finds himself in the bedroom of Zuzka, the professor's niece. Wide-eyed, flirtatious, and not detectably ill, Zuzka leads the young doctor to her window and opens up a view of their apartment block that Beer has never known. Across the shared courtyard, there is nine-year-old Anneliese, the lonely daughter of an alcoholic. Five windows to the left lives a secretive mime who comes home late at night and keeps something-or someone-precious hidden from view. From the garret drifts the mournful sound of a trumpet player, and a basement door swings closed behind the building's inscrutable janitor.

Does one of these enigmatic neighbors have blood on their hands?

Dr. Beer, who has his own reasons for keeping his private life hidden from public scrutiny, reluctantly becomes embroiled in an inquiry that forces him to face the dark realities of Nazi rule. By turns chilling and tender, The Quiet Twin explores a dystopian world of social paranoia, mistrust, and fear-and the danger of staying silent.
Visit Dan Vyleta's website and learn more about The Quiet Twin.

See Vyleta's top 10 list of books in second languages.

Writers Read: Dan Vyleta.

--Marshal Zeringue