Zacharias Nielsen is the likeable if somewhat naïve hero of my book IN SEARCH OF A REVOLUTION. The excitable son of a strict bureaucrat and a weak mother falls prey to a charismatic teacher, Holger Beck, with communist leanings. Persuaded that he is doing the right thing for the greater good of all, Zacharias leaves Copenhagen to join his red comrades in the Civil War in Finland.
He soon finds that the conflict is much more complex than he had thought and wakes up to the harsh reality of brutal war and a political landscape that isn’t what he was told it would be. Once removed from his mentor’s influence, Zacharias needs to figure out what to do with his life in the new forming Finnish Nation.
The book chronicles his journey through the tumultuous and changeable events that follow, politically and personally. Will he change his mind about Communism? What keeps him in Finland and how will he get to live his dreams and aspirations?
To me, Zacharias represents the good natured idealist that is prepared to put his money and rifle where his mouth is. He has benign intentions and truly believes in making the world a better place, especially as he joins comrades that are defending themselves rather than attacking. But, every dreamer needs to wake up to reality at some point. As wars and political developments keep challenging his beliefs, his private life becomes just as complicated. His friend and supporter, Raisa, tries to stop him from running and encourages him to take stock of his needs.
I once met a Danish man on a plane and his mannerisms inspired the character of Zacharias. In a film I would like Zacharias to be played by Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, although I would also picture him to be played by Hangover star Zach Galifianakis
In many ways Zacharias’s struggle reflects my own ambiguous relationship with political ideas and realism. More on that subject in my next blog post on Idealism.
Link to an excerpt from the novel
In 1918 young Zacharias Nielsen boards a ship in Copenhagen to join the Red Guards in the Finnish Civil War.Encouraged by an idolised teacher with communist leanings, he follows the call for help from his Nordic Comrades, despite his privileged background.
His best friend, Ansgar, has opposing political ideals to Zacharias but, for his own personal reasons, finds himself soon stuck in the Scandinavian North with Zacharias and Raisa, a Finnish nurse who helps them in their new life.
Through the years that follow the brotherly war the trio see the political landscape in Finland and Europe change as Communists and Fascists try to make their mark and attempt to change the world order.
Our heroes must find their own personal and ideological place in these turbulent times as friendship, honour, idealism and love triangles bring out some personal truths.
The book spans almost thirty years of history and the various Finnish conflicts: Civil War, Winter War, Continuation War and the Lapland War. Watch the political and personal self discovery of characters in search of their own revolution.
Read the first review:
“Christoph is amazing! I am glad he has decided to do another historical novel! In this book, we meet Zacharias, a young man from a wealthy family, and his best friend, Angsar who is the son of a pig farmer. The story takes place between Denmark and Finland at the time of WWII. These two unlikely friends both want the best for their people. Zacharias believes everyone is equal and is quickly enchanted with the ideals of communism by his charismatic teacher Beck. Angsar wants the monarchy to continue and bring peace. Zacharias goes to Finland to help the Red Guard fight to create a communistic state in Finland. The White Guard wants to return to the monarchy and has asked Germany to aid them to defeat the Red Guard. We meet Raisa, a Finnish nurse, when Zacharias is injured during the Red Guard’s defeat. She just wants to live in peace and have a home. She tries to seduce Zacharias and he tells her that he will never love her. Angsar comes to Finland because of a scandal he is involved in after he joins the army in Denmark. He finds Raisa and moves in while Zacharias has returned home to Denmark to find his way.
The story unfolds as each man faces the truth of their convictions and realizes there is no right answer. Amazing detail about the times and the pitfalls of blindly following any ideology.
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.
Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.