Historical novel of a single day in Vienna in 1938 in a hotel/brothel, on the date of Hitler's invasion of Austria.
A very detailed and complicated examination of one side of the horrible underbelly of Nazi politics, Vienna Dolorosa is a violent, sexually skewed, horrific novel covering one significant date in European history: March 12, 1938, the date of the Nazi invasion of Austria. Like any recollection of the horrors of war and of Nazi atrocities, Vienna Dolorosa will churn stomachs and make eyes widen in sympathy and dismay. Perhaps more so though, this story relates the truly anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual, anti-transsexual and anti-transgendered slant of Nazi ideology. In a worldview in which a very small percentage of individuals are genetically acceptable, the vast majority was endangered, but for some groups and classes-Jews, Gypsies, Russians, and homosexuals/transgendereds/transsexuals-danger was even more prevalent, and never-ending. Vienna Dolorosa doesn't hesitate to explore the horrifying possibilities of a state policy glorifying hate crimes, and faint-hearted readers should beware: mutilation, murder, and other crimes are explicitly rendered.
Credit is due to author Mykola Dementiuk for the richly detailed historical fabric, which renders the Vienna culture so realistic to the reader; for the juxtaposition of Nazi horrors against the backdrop of fabled Viennese culture; and for his careful and knowledgeable exposition of the mindset and lifestyle of a Transgendered, as seen through the story of Frau Friska, the "hotel" entrepreneur.