Chris's Reviews > Death in Venice and Other Stories

Death in Venice and Other Stories by Thomas Mann
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Mar 22, 15

bookshelves: denmark, dogs-and-canines-fiction, lit-fiction-germany-austria, short-stories, literature-fairy-tale-retold-influ, 1001-list
Recommended for: Karen Blixen fans
Read from March 20 to 24, 2012

This review isn't going to make sense. I should just say that right now.

I have never read Mann before. Of course one keeps hearing about "Death in Venice" and then one feels guilty about not reading it and so on. Finally, in terms of this year's late resolution of doing something about my TBR pile and book buying addiction (though I didn't buy this. My friend put it on a pile of books he was giving away) and because of a buddy read (thanks Jeanette) I read it.

It is poetry, really truly. You just want Mann (who the Nazis hated) to keep writing and writing because it is wonderful.

Many of the stories in this book deal with loss, but they are not sad. There seems to be something hopeful in the tone, something human and humane about that hope. Even in 'The Blood of the Walsings" which has a wonderfully sharp and witty ending, one that any well read reader will know.

While the title story might be the most famous and the most rich in terms of symbolism and metaphor, I enjoyed "Tonio Kroger", "Disorder and Early Sorrow" and "A Man and His Dog" the best. In many ways, "Tonio" is very much like the work of Karen Blixen (DinV reminded me of Updike's short story "Bluebeard in Ireland" for some reason"). "A Man and his Dog" is a heartfelt story about a man and his dog that any dog lover will love (and no, the dog does not die). "Disorder and Early Sorrow" was the most beautiful story in the collection to me. All the stories are about the human condition and human loss and hope. Absolutely stunning.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Glad to see that you've started!


Chris I'm sorry about being late. Started yesterday. Sunday was just really busy.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

No probs. I am actually enjoying it, very much. The writing is very good, in a fascinating way. Aschenbach has just begun observing the young boy; I'll see where Mann goes with it.


Chris I like his style. It's poetic.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

It's hard to describe; maybe poetic is what I'm looking for. He uses a lot of words to show, and to make the reader feel, what he's describing.


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