The Magic Mountain : With a Postscript by the Author on the Making of the Novel Paperback
by Thomas Mann
Hans Castorp is 'a perfectly ordinary, if engaging young man' when he goes to visit his cousin in an exclusive sanatorium in the Swiss Alps.
What should have been a three week trip turns into a seven year stay.
Hans falls in love and becomes intoxicated with the ideas he hears at the clinic - ideas which will strain and crack apart in a world on the verge of the First World War.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 752 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 29/07/1996
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780749386429
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by dylkit
Sometimes it feels like the book unfolds in real time, it took me an age to read it. But that is not to say I didn't enjoy it. OK, maybe enjoy is too strong a word. It was slog, but a worthwhile one. Many of the characters are the stock figures one meets in traveller's tales, but they are well drawn and there are some comic moments. There is a great scene of a skier caught in a snowstorm. and according to some the entire novel is encapsulated in that one chapter. The loving detail with which a gramophone is described when it arrives at the sanatorium was given added poignancy when I discovered that Mann spent his Nobel Prize winnings buying one himself. The novel really plays with time - the seasons do not play out in order, and like the old stories of a traveller caught fairyland three weeks turn into seven years.
Review by bodachliath
This is a book with very little plot - the young Hans Castorp is sent to a sanatorium in Switzerland where he talks at length with various intellectuals about philosophy. However, that simple description can't do justice to this magnificently eloquent novel of ideas.