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.
Here is a litle excerpt from the book:
Chapter 1: A Tavern in Copenhagen, January 1918
Zacharias Nielsen’s mind was full of joyous anticipation, so much, he could hardly stay put in his seat. Even when he was sitting his legs were shaking fast and his hands were rubbing nervously up and down his trouser legs. The thought of the ship journey tomorrow morning was almost too much to bear. An electric pulse ran down his spine whenever the thought recurred: It was really happening. The tavern was dark so Zacharias had to strain his eyes whenever someone entered the room. He sat on a hard wooden bench behind a long narrow trestle table near one of the corners so he could see both the entrance and the serving bar.
His drinking companion and dear friend, Ansgar, could not help smiling. “I’ll be missing your over-excitement the most,” he said.
Zacharias shrugged his shoulders, smiled and continued to stare at the entrance to the tavern. In the summer this place was always heaving with bicycle messengers and postmen who came to unwind after their shifts, but tonight it was almost empty and the two had the large table all to themselves. The tavern was located in the basement of a large stone building near the government buildings, several few steps down from the cobblestone pavement, and with its low ceilings it always felt dark and cozy, even in the summer.
In winter, the early nightfall turned the countryside too soon to darkness, and the resulting lack of custom gave the place an empty and incomplete feeling. With the days so short, it always felt as if it were much later than it actually was, and somehow that seemed to persuade most of the regulars to go home earlier, or not to come out drinking at all. Beside the two friends, only a handful of customers were there, all chatting quietly instead of engaged in often noisy arguments and beer-fuelled discussions.
“Where is everybody?” Zacharias asked, his eyes scouring the dark interior “Everyone’s been invited!” He took off his cap and ran his hand through his curly blond hair before putting the cap back on. Even though he was wearing thick grey trousers and a heavy winter coat, he looked unhealthily slim, an impression that was not helped by his pale complexion and his restless behaviour.
“It’s cold and dark,” Ansgar pointed out calmly. Much taller and stronger built than his friend and blessed with handsome dark looks, he was physically and emotionally a stark contrast to Zacharias. “It’s hardly tempting to leave your house, especially to celebrate that you are leaving all of your friends.”
“Do you think they disapprove?” Zacharias asked.
“Who can say?” Ansgar replied and took a sip from his beer. “Joining the war in Finland on the side of the Reds will impress some of them, of that I am sure. They might not to turn up because they haven’t got the guts to do it themselves.”
“Who wouldn’t be jealous?” Zacharias said, sonding naïve and proud at the same time. “It’s the opportunity of this century, to eradicate the divide between rich and poor and to bring all humans together. Imagine what the world will be like when the revolution has come? Ansgar, that’s a much better cause to fight for than the assassination of an Austrian heir to the throne.”
“I wish you were right,” Ansgar said, trying to sound serious, but the enthusiasm of his friend was infectious and he couldn’t help smiling.
“About the revolution or my friends?” Zacharias asked.
“Both!” Ansgar said and winked.
Zacharias shrugged his shoulders and turned his attention back into the room, which he continued to scan for new arrivals.
“Not everyone is like you,” Ansgar explained. “I still remember when I joined your school and the other students called me a pig and the poor farmer’s child. The endless fist fights for my honour and how nobody but you would ever speak to me at first. You never joined their banter and instead offered me a place in your life. You treated me as an equal even though you came from a far more privileged background.”
“The others soon did the same,” Zacharias reminded him.
“Yes, once they all learned how big my father’s pig farm was and how wealthy,” Ansgar replied dismissively. “You were a friend regardless,” he said and smiled at his friend briefly with warmth before adding in a more concerned tone: “Don’t expect much of that fraternity in Finland in the heat of a revolution. Old prejudices will always remain and no ideology can erase them from people’s minds. You’ll always be a little too posh in the eyes of your comrades, I reckon.”
“Nonsense,” Zacharias replied. “I made friends with you, the farmer’s boy. I shall do the same in Finland.”
“Still, your lack of prejudice separates you from the rest of us,” Ansgar said and took a sip of his beer. “It’s your strength and your weakness.”
“It’s unity that makes us strong,” Zacharias replied animatedly. “Even if your family had been as poor as everyone assumed, you had a lot to contribute. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t know how to fight for myself. I was considered a weakling until you taught me the ropes of boxing and how to stand up to attackers. I wouldn’t dare go to a war were it not for your lessons in that regard.”
“In that case, I wish I hadn’t taught you,” Ansgar said in a serious tone but with a broad smile. “I don’t want to lose a friend because the Grand Duchy of Finland can’t make up its mind what kind of country it is going to be. I’d rather you got injured in the boxing ring.”
The book on Amazon: http://smarturl.it/SearchofRevolution
and on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25113498-in-search-of-a-revolution
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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.