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  • Golden Maze

  • A Biography of Prague
  • By: Richard Fidler
  • Narrated by: Richard Fidler
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)

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Golden Maze

By: Richard Fidler
Narrated by: Richard Fidler
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Publisher's Summary

Beloved ABC broadcaster and best-selling author of Ghost Empire and Saga Land, Richard Fidler is back with a personally curated history of the magical city that is Prague. 

In 1989, Richard Fidler was living in London as part of the provocative Australian comedy trio The Doug Anthony All Stars when revolution broke out across Europe. Excited by this galvanising historic, human moment, he travelled to Prague, where a decrepit police state was being overthrown by crowds of ecstatic citizens. His experience of the Velvet Revolution never let go of him.  

Thirty years later Fidler returns to Prague to uncover the glorious and grotesque history of Europe's most Instagrammed and uncanny city: a jumble of Gothic towers, baroque palaces and zigzag lanes that has survived plagues, pogroms, Nazi terror and Soviet tanks. Founded in the ninth century, Prague gave the world the golem, the robot and the world's biggest statue of Stalin, a behemoth that killed almost everyone who touched it.

Fidler tells the story of the reclusive emperor who brought the world's most brilliant minds to Prague Castle to uncover the occult secrets of the universe. He explores the Black Palace, the wartime headquarters of the Nazi SS, and he meets victims of the communist secret police. Reaching back into Prague's mythic past, he finds the city's founder, the pagan priestess Libussa who prophesised: I see a city whose glory will touch the stars.

Following the story of Prague from its origins in medieval darkness to its uncertain present, Fidler does what he does so well - curates an absolutely engaging and compelling history of a place. You will learn things you never knew, with a tour guide who is erudite, inquisitive and the best storyteller you could have as your companion.

©2020 Richard Fidler (P)2020 Bolinda Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Fidler displays great charm in the telling of his tale, spicing it with delicious gossip." (New York Times Book Review)

"Fidler's story leaves its readers with a sense of faith in the renewing, illuminating, social powers of historical narrative." (Sydney Morning Herald

What listeners say about Golden Maze

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The Golden Maze shines

This review comes after my second full listen. Richard Fidler provides a graceful, simple and elegant biography of the city of my grandfather who escapes the Stalinist regime in the early 1950s with my grandmother, mother and aunt. Prague is a complex and extraordinary city with an enthralling history. It was great to hear a fellow Australian provide a brilliant yarn, demonstrating that both our nations share a sense of humanity and humour. A cracking good read ready for my next flight to Czechia once the plague is gone.

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7 people found this helpful

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Incredible

Absolutely loved this book! Well written and well read. Richard is a remarkable storyteller! As an Aussie who worked as a tour guide in Prague during a stint living there, I feel like this book was written specifically for me! Haha.
Brought back some great memories of amazing Prague places and history, and also learnt so many mew things about this beautiful country.

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7 people found this helpful

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Great book

Another great listen from Richard Fidler. He does such a brilliant job of research. So much to learn.

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6 people found this helpful

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Excellent overall

I don’t love the author’s “story time” narration, but I also don’t really like him as an interviewer; I know I’m nearly alone in this.

In spite of this, the book is still worth 5 stars overall. The depth, the flow, the linking of diverse narrative threads were all excellent. The research must’ve been phenomenal and the personal insights definitely add to the story. Highly recommend.

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5 people found this helpful

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Sublime

A biography of city is so often a cliche, but this captures the topography, the culture, and the spirit of place with deft skill.

(It’s much better than his attempt to do the same for Istanbul)

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A fantastic book

This book is not just a history of Prague. It is a history of Europe and a story of human beings, at their worst and their best. There are not many authors who can tell a story of such a wide span of history in such a succinct and compelling way. Richard Fidler distils the story of Europe and Prague through the human story and leaves us thinking as much about humanity, as about history. There is a real art in this writing. This book is informative, compelling and utterly enjoyable.

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4 people found this helpful

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A Vivid Telling of History

I new very little about Prague’s history before listening to this book. Richard takes you on a journey through time with his telling of Prague’s history and made me feel like a fly on the wall through out. Very enjoyable and moving book.

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3 people found this helpful

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Highly recommend

The author weaves an engaging story which brings this city to life.

Thoroughly enjoyable!

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5 stars all the way

Richard Fidler has once again done an outstanding job. thanks so much cannot wait for the next city/book

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terrible

poor idea for a book
totally poor writing and not at all interesting....very disappointed in this book




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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.