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
- Hardback from £10.19
- Paperback / softback from £16.75
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.