A DOUBTFUL INHERITANCE: a novel in the form of an autobiofiction ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Ted Dr Todd

A DOUBTFUL INHERITANCE: a novel in the form of an autobiofiction

Publication date: June 2016
ISBN: 9780994591913
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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"A Doubtful Inheritance"

This novel was part of the work for a PhD in literature/writing at Swinburne University 2014

About the book:

The book is a novel but written as an 'autobiofiction'. The main character is a child of the Holocaust’s and his story is about his later life and inheritance or lack of it. The backbone of the story a search for missing inheritors of a lot of money, but one ofcourse inherits (or not...) much more than that. The themes are about memory, loss, love, missing people, human nature and its feelings and contradictions. One component is the migrant experience, another that of war and survival. Realtionships and /or the lackl ofthem is what lives are about and good or bad luck is part of all that goes on in lives. The book builds with drama and humor, loss and hope, and how these juxtapose each other.

The novel is multi layered. The reader will be uncertain at times as to who wrote the story, the first person narrator or …? This part of the story structure is revealed at the end of the book. The underlying story action is a bit of a ’whodunit’, and a psychological meander in the lives of two damaged men; very much a search not only for the inheritance of money, but into questioning what each of us do in fact ’inherit’.

The story time line moves, (not in a linear way), between 1944 and the present day.The narrative opens at the Esalen institute of Human relations in California in the seventies, where the main protagonist, Tim, discovers his losses at an encounter group, questioning for the first time his now recovered past and memories. Then we move to a battle front in 1944, in Siberia, where the German and their allied Hungarian soldiers are retreating from the advancing Russians. The action is about Tim’s father Lajos, a 26 year old Jew used as a ‘work serviceman’ in a war that wants him dead. The story moves to a Gulag in Siberia, and then to Vienna, and Argentina. Lajos, a Jew saves the life of a Nazi soldier. This is a pivotal event for the story and it serves to activate the resolution of the story at the end of the novel.

Chapters cover Tim's memories of a Hungarian childhood, the Stalinist years, and memories of stories heard from his mother. There is insight into Tim, (who may at this point seem like the author of the story). Various events take place in Australia, Budapest, and the USA. The exploration for ‘present pasts’ gains momentum: it has to facilitate the search for a possible, yet previously unknown inheritance of a large fortune. Stories from the past and from the present interweave, as the novel builds and brings the two together.

Josef’s life in Budapest is a key element that meets and confronts Tim. Most of the action now takes place in current day Budapest, Australia and Los Angeles. Neither Josef nor Tim is aware that the other even exists at this time. Various new events enter the story, that eventually merge and re- constitute Tim’s and Josef’s lives and attitudes. New actors bring serendipitous events that combine, unite, divide, surprise and progress the speculation about the inheritance that Josef thinks he has found. The inheritance, un-holly ghosts, dark sides of Josef, and Tim’s renewed mind set, all emerge to bring a kind of resolution to the story.

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