Heimito von Doderer was definitely an unpleasant character. He was a Nazi and a sadist. But he wrote an acclaimed three-part novel about Viennese society in the 1920s: "The Demons."
Many novels deal with the decline of European civilization during the period between the world wars. But no other novel is as sweeping and yet profound as Doderer's Vienna-based epic. It also makes for a good laugh.
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