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The Magic Mountain

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  26,598 Ratings  ·  1,543 Reviews
 With this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Thomas Mann rose to the front ranks of the great modern novelists, winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. The Magic Mountain takes place in an exclusive tuberculosis sanatorium in the Swiss Alps–a community devoted to sickness that serves as a fictional microcosm for Europe in the days before the First World War. To this h ...more
Hardcover, 854 pages
Published June 21st 2005 by Everyman's Library (first published 1924)
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Mark Hebwood I was asking myself this same question the entire time I was reading it. I think this novel is best enjoyed as a reading experience in itself, just as…moreI was asking myself this same question the entire time I was reading it. I think this novel is best enjoyed as a reading experience in itself, just as a piece of music is enjoyed in itself. I do not believe this novel is about anything, it is certainly not a novel of ideas, as some critics have claimed. Thomas Mann himself advised contemporaries to read it like an orchestral symphony, to follow common themes, and just let the narrative play. And I think if you try this, this actually works - so my answer would be that Mann wrote a piece of literature that can be "listened to", and that's all it needs to be.(less)
Mark Hebwood It's in French in the original German, too. This is a stylistic device - in the 19th century, French was the language of the educated classes, and it…moreIt's in French in the original German, too. This is a stylistic device - in the 19th century, French was the language of the educated classes, and it was entirely normal for other European nationals to converse in that language (compare, for example, the opening scenes in Tolstoi's War and Peace, or certain - shorter - passages in Buddenbrooks). Mme Chauchat is an educated Russian and speaks better French than German, and that is why Hans Castorp conducts his first ever conversation with her in French. But it is more than just form, it is also a stylistic device. If you examine the scene, you'll see that the HC's French contributions become longer and longer, until he delivers an impassioned monologue about his love for Chauchat, and the relationship between love, death, and the human body in general. That monologue is almost a page long, and by that time statements in German, which still shot through the French up till then, were totally crowded out. The idea here is, I think, to emphasise the "otherwordliness" of the scene, HC often makes reference to a dream, a realm in which he loses his inhibitions, and declares his love for Chauchat.(less)

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Kalliope
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

THE POLKA MACABRE of the SEVEN STEPS




It is dusk, and we are on a slim boat, similar to a black gondola and approach an isolated island. As I can make out better the shapes, I realize I have seen this before. The image in front of my eyes is like a black and white version of Arnold Bocklin’s painting and now I am transported to his Isle of the Dead. There is deep silence. I can only hear the very faint stirring of the water as the boat slides over it. Well no, there is also a faint melody which be
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Jason
I am in a good mood today!

Which should be readily apparent, because if I were not, this book would probably have received only two stars from me—not as a reflection of its literary quality per se, but rather as a reflection of my own reaction to it.

Here is what happened yesterday: I finished this book and tossed it forcefully onto the coffee table next to me in what may be seen as a transparent attempt to attract attention to myself (which is something I tend to do often) and sure enough someone
...more
Megha
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews

Imagine hiking up a steep mountain. You are not quite winning the game of hide & seek with the Sun and it has got its fiery eyes firmly on you. Your legs are chewing your ears off with incessant grumbling. With each step you take, a wish to flop down right there grows stronger. One of these steps carries you to a spot where a spectacular vista suddenly opens up before you. For the briefest moment, the scene in front of you consumes not only your vision, but your consciousness. It is only in
...more
Warwick

You’re faced with a daunting task when you try to talk about The Magic Mountain – there are so many threads that to pull on one seems unfair to the others. For some it’s a meditation on time, for others it’s the foundational ‘sick-lit’ masterpiece; it’s an allegory of pre-First World War Europe, say one group of supporters; not at all, argue others, it’s a parody of the Bildungsroman tradition.

And yet despite the profusion of themes and ideas, this is a supremely contained book. ‘Insular’ you mi
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Samadrita
Imagine being stuck in a place where all sense of time is lost in the web of inactivity, a place which enables people to lead a life devoid of any greater purpose and only focused on recuperation from a queer illness, a place almost hermetically sealed and self-controlled, successfully keeping the repercussions of wars and diplomatic feuds between nations at bay. Imagine being rid of all your earthly woes of finding means of survival and all the elements that stand as pillars supporting the norm ...more
Lance Greenfield
Oct 07, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
At the risk of being labelled a Philistine, I declare that this book is one of the most insufferably boring tomes that has ever made it onto my bedside table. I admit that I only struggled my way through the first 170 pages, but that was enough to convince me that I should not waste any more minutes of my precious life wading through any more of this drivel.

I know, I have also been chastised for criticising modern art in the same way. Tracey Emin's "Unmade Bed" and Thomas Mann's "The Magic Moun
...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Socratic Dialogues

"The Magic Mountain" is a sequel to “Death in Venice”.

Just as Plato’s Socratic Dialogues were the foundation of the novella, they guide the narrative of "TMM", a "Bildungsroman" that is concerned with the education of the protagonist, Hans Castorp, during the seven year period from ages 23 to 30.

Castorp doesn’t so much learn or grow by his physical actions. The character development is intellectual, a development which is equally apparent in both the author and the reader.

Becau
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Matt
If you give this book a chance, and some long quiet hours with your full attention, you will be in the midst of incredible richness.

Wise, erudite, deeply engaged but titanically remote, grand, magisterial, ironic, cosmopolitan, comic in a sly gently mocking way.

They don't write 'em like this anymore. the title is onomatpoeic. The book itself is mountainous....some of the deepest philosophical prophecy on what the 20th Century was, and would become. The characters are allegorical, true, but the c
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Edward
To read The Magic Mountain is to be wholly immersed in Hans Castorp’s little world, to really take part as Hans and his companions grapple with mankind’s dichotomies: life vs death, action vs intellect, reason vs emotion, naturalism vs mysticism, East vs West, god vs man, and, perhaps above all, love, that singular epitomic contradiction, that wonderful celebration of life, that raison d'être, which capriciously wields the power both to exult and to desolate.

The book’s characters - the wild and
...more
Aubrey
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contestant for the spot of my absolute favorite novel. The judgment is only being withheld due to the fact that I currently don't have a review for Of Human Bondage, so no accurate comparison can be made as of yet. However. It must be said that if the previous book gave me hope for the human condition, this one explosively revitalized my admiration for the human ideal.

Few people write like this nowadays. Most don't appreciate their world and its myriad ideas and o
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19405
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intel
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More about Thomas Mann...
“It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death.” 303 likes
“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.” 271 likes
More quotes…