Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Story of San Michele” as Want to Read:
The Story of San Michele
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Story of San Michele

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,781 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
The Story of San Michele (a villa built on the ruins of a Roman Emperor's villa in Capri) is a series of overlapping vignettes, roughly but not entirely in chronological order. It contains reminiscences of many periods of the author's life. He associated with a number of celebrities of his times, including Jean-Martin Charcot, Louis Pasteur, Henry James, and Guy de Maupass ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 8th 2004 by John Murray Publishers Ltd (first published 1929)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Story of San Michele, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Story of San Michele

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Ahmad Sharabiani
Boken om San Michele = The Story of San Michele, Axel Munthe
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ژانویه سال 1976 میلادی
عنوان: نامه سان میکله؛ نویسنده: اکسل مونته؛ مترجم: م.ا. به آذین (محمود اعتماد زاده)؛ تهران، بنگاه نشر اندیشه، 1337؛ در 414 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، آگاه، 1354؛ در 410 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1357؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، آتیه، 1379؛ در 446 ص؛ شابک: 9646373348؛
نقل از متن: ناگهان، در میان سکوت وحشتزا، به نظرم رسید، که چهچهه ی پرندگان را میشنوم. سهره ی کوچکی، از آنها که در باغها دیده میشوند، بر دوش من نشست، و در گوش من خو
Andrei Bădică
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Să trăiești într-un loc ca acesta, să mori într-un asemenea loc, dacă moartea ar putea învinge vreodată nemuritoarea bucurie a unei astfel de vieți! Ce vis îndrăzneț îmi făcuse inima să-mi bată așa de violent, cu câteva clipe în urmă, când Mastro Vincenzo îmi povestise că îmbătrânea și că obosise și că fiul lui îi ceruse să își vândă casa? Ce gânduri îndrăznețe îmi fulgeraseră prin creierul meu agitat când el spusese că nu îi aparține nimănui capela?"
"- Nu-i mai aduce așa multe jucării scumpe,
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the autobiography of a gung ho doctor and adventurer, carrying a bag full of rich stories – some of them funny, others magical, others tragic . He has a deep well of love and compassion for both human beings and animals, in all our states of being. From the hypochondria of some of his wealthy patients to the desperate plights of some of his poorer ones – Axel Munthe connects passionately with the humanity in all of us. At the start of his career he was the youngest person ever to have gr ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
The author was Swedish, born in 1857 and studied medicine in Paris at an early age. I do not know how he looked like, he has no photo in this autobiographical book, but he did mention here a few times that he has blue eyes. He was probably good-looking because the rich and the royalties during his time, most of them women, flocked to him for their real and imagined illnesses.

The blurb says that he was Tsar Nicholas's first choice as doctor for his ailing, only son (Rasputin only came to the pict
Zane Biezā
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silta, mīļa, jauka, gudra grāmata. Man ļoti patika.
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Munthe, Axel. THE STORY OF SAN MICHELE. (1929; this edition 1991). ****. On my first trip to Italy in 1968, I decided to “do” the south. This meant starting in Rome and then going to Pompeii, Naples, and the Amalfi coast. I went back to Naples and took a hydrofoil (my first) to Capri. I had heard how beautiful it was, and, indeed, it met all of its descriptions. While there, I took the standard tour of the island. This included the Blue Grotto and San Michele. Of course, I didn’t know anything a ...more
Bruce Beckham
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
By chance and in complete ignorance I was lucky enough this summer to be taken to the precipitous Italian island of Capri, and upwards to the Villa San Michele. I learned of its architect and builder, the renowned Swedish physician and author, Axel Munthe (1857-1949).

The property itself is most notable for its construction on the site of the villa of the Emperor Tiberius; for the ancient unearthed relics thus incorporated into its fabric; and for its literally breathtaking views over the bay of
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Labai graži knyga :) Nežinau ar dar norėčiau skaityti šitą autorių, bet vieną kartą galima ir arbatą su cukrum išgerti... Tiesa, dabar noriu ir vėl Kaprį aplankyti, nes geras gidas
Alfred Haplo
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Longer review later (** updated) but for now, some brief thoughts... San Michele is a memoir but an unconventional one at that. The narrator, Axel Munthe, a Swedish physician, had written the book in his early 70's in an anecdotal, rambling format which lends to its quirky charm, but also its disorganization. His writing is as coherent as an informal conversation, where the vignettes are the stars of the memoir, so many facts and typical references like dates are absent.

Where it gets incredulou
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this great book about 30 or so years ago. Now that I have visited Axel Munthe's extraordinary Tiberian Villa in Capri I wanted to read it again.

It was worth a second reading. He has such a great way with story telling. The only disappointing element was the end chapter "In the old tower" where he rambles about death way too long.

He built his villa by hand. No architect, no permits, no coastal commission, no unions, & no inspectors. Ahh... those were the days!

Best quote:
"The house was
Kristīne Līcis
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I first read this book in my early teens, and can safely say that this is a book that raised me and that has had most profound influence on me. This is the book that showed me the beauty of curiosity about science and of interest in history, art and philosophy. This is the book that taught me about empathy, about charity without being condescending. This is the book that made me realise that I too am directly benefiting from the medical discoveries of late 19th century and early 20th century (th ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A stunningly individual book - a glimpse into another time, through fascinating eyes. In some ways, it feels very ahead-of-its-time, the playfulness of the narrator/author presaging postmodern concerns.

The flaw is that Munthe - while capable of some truly beautiful sentences - is not a novelist, nor even a prose writer, and is not writing in his first (nor, if I recall correctly, even second or third) language. As a result, from top to bottom this feels like the work of an amateur, lacking sophi
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Autobiografie švédského lékaře Axela Muntheho, pro kterého byla pouze jedna věc vzácnější než léčení jeho pacientů - a tím je ostrov Capri v neapolském zálivu. Nejde však jen o krásu přírodní - byť se zdá, že autor rozumí řeči zvířat víc než kdokoliv jiný - jde zejména o lásku k prostotě jedinečnosti místních obyvatel a klidu ducha, který se sem vrací vyčerpán životem "módního" lékaře v Paříži a Římě. Celou knihou prostupuje popis reálných postav a událostí jako je epidemie cholery v Neapoli, ze ...more
Anastas Ivanov
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Има книги, които те карата да се замислиш за истинските неща в живота. Изумителното на "Легенда за Сан Микеле" е, че е написана преди около 100 години, за да бъда точен за първи път е публикувана през 1929 в Лондон, а въпреки дистанцията на времето е актуална до днес.
„Пуснете нещичко в касичката на „сестриците“, макар да е и най-дребната монета: уверявам ви, че няма по-сигурно от това капиталовложение. Спомнете си какво писах на друго място в тази книга: каквото задържиш, ще го загубиш каквото п
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biografie, biografia
“La mia casa è aperta al sole, alla luce ed agli amici”

"Chi ama gli animali ama anche le persone”, diceva mia nonna; sì, è vero, siamo tutti creature di Dio, condividiamo il passaggio su questa terra cercando di darci reciproco piacere, affetto e compagnia. So bene che è una visione eccessivamente ottimistica, che viene smentita ogni momento dalle peggiori nefandezze e crudeltà sugli animali, tuttavia dopo aver letto Axel Munthe non si può fare a meno di pensarlo.
Mi aspettavo di leggere un libro
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Si j'ai réellement pris du plaisir avec certains chapitres de ce livre il faut toutefois reconnaître que l'auteur, sous des dehors de fausse modestie, de fausse humilité et de fausse candeur, lasse par la haute opinion qu'il se fait de lui-même.
Un autre point qui vient gâcher les parties les plus lumineuse du livre est le point de vue plusieurs fois répété de Munthe sur l'expérimentation médicale sur les prisonniers et son mépris pour les femmes qu'il ne manque pas de détailler et d'illustrer p
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
A travel classic, this extraordinary, partly fictionalised autobiography includes and is partly defined by significant elaborations and omissions (for example wholly neglecting to mention two wives).

Scenes include medical life among the Parisian poor, a Scandinavian idyll and an audacious if somewhat sentimental vision of God and Heaven to conclude.

Visiting Capri while reading this book was a magical experience.
Sam Schulman
May 03, 2013 rated it liked it
One of the great medical books and one of the great books about Capri - much more readable and memorable than Norman Douglas' South Wind.
Unfortunately (someone told me), much of Munthe's account of his heroic career as a doctor is a tissue of lies.
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
چاپ اول این کتاب در تابستان سال 1357 توسط انتشارات آگاه منتشر شده است
از متن کتاب - صفحه 27
آدمی اگر ساعت مرگ خود را می دانست، رندگی را تحمل نمی توانست کرد
Aurimas Nausėda
Knyga įdomi gydytojo mintimis apie žmonių gydymą, šunų, bezdžionių ir kitų gyvūnų bendravimą su žmonėmis bei įžvalgomis apie laiko, gerų darbų prasmes.
May 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book describes a society doctor's life and his construction of a fantastic home on the Island of Capri. Although I found it pretentious and rambling, it was oddly compelling.
Antonio Gallo
La Capri di Axel Munthe
“La Storia di San Michele” è un libro che venne pubblicato nel lontano 1929. D’allora non è mai stato fuori stampa. E’ un libro che parla non solo di un’isola per tutte le stagioni, sempre alla moda, ma anche del suo autore, la figura di uno straordinario medico svedese che aveva settanta anni quando cominciò a scriverlo. Decise di scrivere per insegnare a se stesso l’uso della macchina da scrivere. Fu un libro che ebbe un immediato successo. Il titolo sembra essere del tu
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
one of my true forever favourites
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
E o carte autobiografică, o carte care vorbeşte despre ce înseamnă cu adevărat profesia de medic. Autorul de origine suedeză Axel Munthe, discipol al lui Charcot la Salpetriere, pasionat de neurologie, medic renumit în lumea bună a Parisului din acea vreme împărtăşeşte o parte din aventurile şi trăirile sale în această carte.
Încă de la începutul carierei sale, fiind cel mai tânăr student care părăseşte universitatea din Paris cu un doctorat în buzunar, Axel Munthe e interesat de neurologie, dom
Anne-Mieke Vermeulen
Axel Munthe (1857 – 1949) was een Zweeds huisarts met een grote belangstelling voor neuropsychologie en hypnose. Hij praktiseerde als modedokter ondermeer in Parijs en Rome. Zijn clientèle bestond uit wat wij tegenwoordig expats zouden noemen: de internationale elite. Onder zijn patiënten bevonden zich veel dames met ingebeelde ziektes. Behalve voor deze welgestelde klantenkring, zette Munthe zich als arts vaak pro-deo in voor de armen. Zo werkte hij onder zeer extreme omstandigheden in Napels t ...more
Gediminas Kontrimas
Sovietmečio pilkumoje buvo visai neblogas skaitalas.
Aldo Marchioni
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Until 2 weeks ago I had no idea an Axel Munthe ever existed. Then somebody gave me this book, and it was a revelation.
It has been written at the beginning of XX century, and deals about things happened at the end of the XIX, however it sounds so contemporary that I would define it out of time.
It deals about the falling in love of Axel Munthe for Capri, and Anacapri in particular, how he discovered some remaining of the famous Tiberius villa, and how he built (with his own hands, and the help of
Philippe Bernard
Les mémoires d'un docteur éclectique à une époque où la médecine ne pouvait pas grand chose contre la maladie. La villa de San Michele est assez peu présente dans le livre et c'est décevant pour ceux qui l'ont visitée et voulait en apprendre davantage. Le livre en revanche nous parle beaucoup de la mort qui semble fasciner l'auteur au point qu'il nous fait même le récit de sa propre mort, passage un peu surréaliste! Au final, le personnage d'Axel Munthe m'a plutôt déçu, je m'attendais à une âme ...more
Geoffrey Fox
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Gossipy memoirs of a multilingual Swedish physician and psychiatrist (1857-1949), his patients -- who included Swedish and other royalty, many rich "hysterical women" and great numbers of the poor -- and of his building of his estate San Michele atop and among ancient ruins (including a palace of Roman Emperor Tiberius) on the isle of Capri. He was a good story-teller, interested not in documenting his life but in illustrating his philosophical and psychological notions by anecdotes. You would n ...more
Jan 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
My father-in-law recommended this book after I'd visited Italy and taken a trip to Capri, and climbed the steps to Anacapri. The book was entertaining and well-written, but I was disappointed. I thought it would be more about the actual building of Munthe's house, San Michele, and his life in Anacapri. Instead, it was a memoir, mostly about the time he spent as a young and talented doctor in Paris and Rome. Many of the chapters are stand-alone "vignettes", in which Munthe writes about interestin ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Epifānijas
  • Silva Rerum
  • Bille
  • Straumēni
  • Balta drobulė
  • Le salaire de la peur
  • Dvēseļu putenis
  • Das Augenspiel. Lebensgeschichte 1931-37
  • The Gap in the Curtain (Sir Edward Leithen #4)
  • سرگذشت حاجی‌بابای اصفهانی
  • Dievų miškas
  • Die Ratten. Berliner Tragikomödie
  • Les Confessions d'un bourgeois
  • Gehen
  • Arthur Mervyn: Revised Edition
  • A Traveller in Rome
  • The Death of a Beekeeper
  • Quasikristalle

Physician, psychiatrist, and writer. He was educated at the University of Uppsala and at Monpellier in Paris where he received his M.D. He studied the work of the French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot and used hypnosis in his own work with the physical and psychological symptoms of his patients. He later became physician to the Swedish Royal family.

He became known as "the modern St. Francis of A
More about Axel Munthe...
“To become a good dog-doctor it is necessary to love dogs, but it is also necessary to understand them - the same as with us, with the difference that it is easier to understand a dog than a man and easier to love him.” 2 likes
“Dievai visas gėrybes parduoda tikrąja kaina, yra pasakęs vienas senovės poetas. Jis būtų galėjęs pridurti, kad pačias verčiausias jie parduoda pigiausiai. Viskas, kas mums tikrai naudinga - nebrangu; tik už tai, be ko galima apsieiti, mokam didelius pinigus. Kas gražu - išvis neparduodama; visa tai nemirtingieji dievai mums duoda veltui.” 2 likes
More quotes…