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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  114 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, 2008

“Delightful . . . gently, deceptively provocative.”—The Observer

“Full of depth and allusion . . . wonderfully absurd humour.”—The Independent on Sunday

Inspired by Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, Castorp recounts Hans Castorp’s student years in Gdansk, Poland. Pawel Huelle imagines what happened when Castorp encou
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Serpent's Tail (first published 2004)
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Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have been told, by a friend on Facebook (and some of her friends), that Polish writing is not very good because Polish does not express itself well in the written form. English, on the other hand (so they claim), is wonderfully adapted for the written form - so English books are far superior. I can't argue with them because I can't read Polish (sadly I'm the equivalent of an illiterate peasant which befits my roots). Can it be that my appreciation of Polish literature has its roots in the fact ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love Hans Castorp earnestness, I loved the quirky Frau Hildegarde Wybe, I could picture the squared away and always appropriate Hans suddenly in very awkward situations. The only reason I didn't love the book was that I was looking for something more pointedly about the pre WWI stirrings and I didn't pick up on any until the last 20 or so pages. Still a really wonderful book.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Nie polecam. Porownania do Czarodziejskiej Gory owszem na miejscu, ale lepiej siegnac do Manna. Z trudem wymęczyłam do końca. A "Śpiewaj ogrody" takie udane.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is much better than the average rating on Goodreads (3.5 stars in Jan 18), if you read it the right way.
First of all it is a prequel to The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (1924) - and it deals with one of the most important fictional characters German literature has: Hans Castorp. I read this book straight after reading The Magic Mountain, and I have to say it was a great experience. When you spend a lot of time reading the 1100+ pages of Thomas Mann you will be a bit melancholic when y
I'm always on the look out for the next Who Was David Weiser?, but thus far I haven't found another Huelle book that quite lives up to my expectations.

Castorp is meant to be a prequel to Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. Hans Castorp is a student in Gdansk at the time of this book, before his adventures of Mann's novel. As I haven't read Mann's book, I'm not sure what Huelle's lends to it. However, I saw a review that calls Castorp a work of "literary fan fiction" which I like, and which about s
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a prequel to The Magic Mountain, but a Czech writer who imagines the life of Hans Castorp before he took the train up the Zauberberg. He successfully mimics the tone and pace of Mann's own prose, and manages to give a thought provoking look at the development of Castorp's character in the Polish (then German) city of Gdansk/Danzig where he attends University. The landmarks of the area in that distant time are brought startlingly to life, along with an assortment of memorable characters a ...more
Dec 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: polish
I love the way Huelle perfectly captures the language and setting of a lot of early modern fiction. You could have passed this book off as another Mann (the story is based on a minor character from The Magic Mountain.) A critic's review on the jacket was good enough to repeat, the scenes of the book are all pretty playful and silly, but where you can see Huelle is making some allusions to post-Magic Mountain Euro/Polish history it's a lot more serious.
Apr 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
For what's basically literary fan fiction, the author gets the tone of the magic mountain down, and it's entertaining, but not much more than that.
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
So much was lost during WWI. This is a reflection on a culture, a city, a man. See more at International Reads' blog about Poland.
Jaime Lara
Apr 12, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 50mejoresxxi
no está en papyre
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Paweł Huelle (b. 10 September 1957 in Gdańsk, Poland) is a Polish prose writer.

Huelle studied philology at Gdańsk University, and later became a journalist. He worked for a time for the press service of Solidarność (Solidarity). He has also taught literature, philosophy, and history. He was director of the Polish Television in his home town from 1994 to 1999.

His literary debut came in 1987 with We
More about Paweł Huelle...

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