Joseph Roth’s final novel is a haunting elegy to the vanished world of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a magically evocative paean to the passing of time and the loss of hope. The Emperor’s Tomb runs from 1913 to 1938, from the eve of one world war to the eve of the next, from disaster to disaster. It is also a love story for Vienna. Striped with beauty and written in short propulsive chapters — full of upheavels, reversals, and abrupt twists of plot — the novel powerfully sketches a time of change and loss. Prophetic and regretful, intuitive and exact, The Emperor’s Tomb tells of one man’s foppish, sleepwalking, spoiled youth and his struggle to come to terms with financial ruin, the coarsening of the world around him, and the first stirrings of Nazi barbarism.