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(Frank Braun Trilogy #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  339 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The basis of the story of Alraune dates to the Middles Ages in Germany. The humanoid-shaped Mandrake root or Mandragora officinarum was widely believed to be produced by the semen of hanged men under the gallows. Alchemists claimed that hanged men ejaculated after their necks were broken and that the earth absorbed their final "strengths". In some versions, it is blood ins ...more
Published December 31st 1998 by Grupello Verlag (first published 1911)
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Edward The Sorcerer's Apprentice is excellent, as well as being the first of the three books. There is an english translation by Joe Bandel, in the e-book…moreThe Sorcerer's Apprentice is excellent, as well as being the first of the three books. There is an english translation by Joe Bandel, in the e-book format. (less)

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Jun 21, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This edition of Alraune is limited to 350 copies of which this is number 320.

Illustrated by Mahlon Blaine.
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sort of a Decadent version of the Frankenstein story. Somewhat ignored or even despised because of Ewers Nazi affiliation (the Nazi's later proscribed it).

Where Frankenstein's monster is a thing of ugliness Alraune is a thing of delicate beauty but who because of her Genesis ends up as sort of the ultimate femme fatale. She's the product of a hanged murderer's seed at the crossroads and a prostitute. It all has to do with folklore surrounding mandrake roots, something that crops up in other fai
Nancy Oakes
That decadent vibe -- I just love it and this book is filled with it. Alraune brings together a bit of the grotesque, the perverse, and all manner of weirdness that appeals, but when all is said and done, it's the German style of decadence that resonates. It is Ewers' second entry in his Frank Braun trilogy, between The Sorcerer's Apprentice and Vampire, neither of which I've read. Alraune is another word for mandrake, the legends of which go way back in history, but for our purposes, it's the G ...more

The first third of this novel is biting satire, crowded with inconceivably pretty ugly caricatures and steeped in the blackest humor — a five-star reading pleasure beyond all doubts.

Then comes Alraune, and the story gets a little repetitive. Alraune [German for mandrake b.t.w.] grows up to become a nymph, a page, a siren, or a vampire. Whatever your desires are, she's there to fulfill them, unless she doesn't want to. She's the walking aphrodisiac for anyone who meets her, everybody's darling, a
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Das ist von Anfang an reißerisch und an niedere Instinkte appellierend, und dennoch ganz wunderbar. Die Beschreibung dieser illustren Gesellschaft aus Personen, die wichtige Ämter (Geheimrat, Justizrat, Professor) oder Adelstitel innehalten und gleichzeitig dermaßen verdorben sind, trinken, rauchen, huren, lügen, Intrigen spinnen... Geschrieben 1911 erinnern mich diese Szenen an die erst nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg entstandenen Bilder von George Grosz. Die Dialoge sind teilweise (auf gelungene Wei ...more
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-books, favorites
A unique work of fiction from an intelligent author.

The mystery that surrounds the plant Mandragora officinarum (mandrake plant) is beautifully crafted into a thrilling fiction that leaves the main character (Alraune) haunt you for long.

"It was a common folklore in some countries that mandrake (the plant - Mandragora officinarum ) would only grow where the semen of a hanged man had dripped on to the ground; this would appear to be the reason for the methods employed by the alchemists who "projec
Jim Dooley
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I first became acquainted with the existence of ALRAUNE in issue # 7 of the magazine, "Van Helsing's Journal" and it inspired me to make my first "collector's book" purchase. The story was fascinating, unsettling, and possessed the most wicked wit I had experienced in a very long time. I understand that H. P. Lovecraft was a fan and I can see the influence.

The author was a prolific writer of novels, short stories, plays and essays that often dealt with occult and erotic themes. Although I had ne
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book, have
I really love it when I arbitrarily come across a book that is little known, but fantastic and I think Alraune definitely qualifies.

This is once again a translation and I truly hope that the language in the original was faithfully translated because that would mean Ewers was a tremendously gifted writer. I'd also hazard a guess that Mr. Ewers was something of a character as well. The novel is blatantly sensual and morally querulous.

This was really a fantastic read. I'm so glad I came across it
Marcos San Juan
Innecesariamente largo, predecible y con personajes poco memorables. El planteamiento general del libro como ficción trágica del horror (grotesco) es inicialmente interesante, aunque después desaparece entre una inmensa banalidad de cotilleos, chismes, metáforas cursis y estupideces noveleras propias de las cortes aristócratas. Al día de hoy, solamente recuerdo a Alraune y a Frank, y no podría describirlos muy bien. El resto de personajes no sé quiénes son (y no me importa)... Esos numerosos per ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror
"Ewers fue un declarado lector y admirador de Edgar Allan Poe y esa huella se nota en Mandrágora, pero también se siente en las páginas de este libro la presencia literaria de Baudelaire, Heine, Hoffmann, D’Annunzio o incluso de su alabado Oscar Wilde. En Ewers, el costumbrismo se acuesta con lo extravagante y de tal coyunda nace lo grotesco, pero sin renunciar a ese aroma terrible y poeniano. Louis Pauwels y Jacques Bergier llegaron a definir a Ew
Jun 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-plays
At the beginning of the 20th century a small group of unscrupulous people want to make the legend around the mystical plant Mandragora officinarum, better known as Alraune, come true. Therefore a sex murderer's sperm and a willing prostitute have to be procured. Nine months later a girl, who is calling Alraune, is born.

This audioplay based on the book "Alraune" written by Hanns Heinz Ewers, published in 1911. Since the publication various film adaptations have been produced. And also Titania Med
Michael DiBaggio
This was the first work I'd ever read by Ewers, and while I knew his reputation as a shocking and somewhat scandalous weird fiction writer, I didn't really know what to expect. I had read that this was a take on the Frankenstein story, and in a sense it is, but it is not merely a retelling in a different context. The psychological and folkloric vein it taps -- and the new thing it produces -- is quite deep and rich.

Ewers does a wonderful job of laying out the uncanny in a gradual, subtlely foreb
Jan 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cuando se aborda el genero fantastico sobrenatural, el clásico, el de monstruos que nos estremecían, nos vienen rapidamente a la mente Frankenstein, Dracula, la Momia, el jinete sin cabeza, el golem, nosferatu hombres lobo de diversa índole, incluso, a veces, al fantasma de la Opera (el cual no se porque se le engloba junto a estos, cuando el unico pecado que cometio fue ser feo de cojones); en resumen, se nos vienen a la mente los monstruos de las barrocas películas de serie B de la Hammer, o e ...more
Oct 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
A reasonably readable example of early 20th-century German decadence. Excellent illustrations by Mahlon Blaine.
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
delicious erotic horror story dripping with florid, gorgeous language in a beautiful translation.
Nov 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Que mujer más mala.
S.B. Stokes
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing "femme fatale" + Frankenstein story!
I found it a far more interesting read than The Sorcerer's Apprentice, mainly because there was so much less of the obnoxious character Frank Braun.
Die Geschichte ist interessant, der Schreibstil etwas fragwürdig: Teilweise holprig, mit Grammatikfehlern, teilweise fast unerträglich kitschig. Es gibt kurze Passagen, die gewissermaßen Briefe an ein "blondgelocktes Schwesterlein" darstellen, die mit der Handlung nichts zu tun haben, aber unglaublich schwülstig und verdreht geschrieben sind. Der Sinn dieser Passagen erschließt sich mir nicht.

Die (damals) skandalöse Handlung beginnt damit, dass auf einer Feier die Legende der Alraune erzählt wir
Boris Cesnik
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A book, a story, a legend that in its narrative, development, language, account, style and description is like siamese twin, the nadir and zenith to each other - the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly...
Like the title, its author, the myth behind the character, the cover of the book, its illustrations, the cloud of mystery surrounding its life, like the magnificent first few chapters, the excitement of the conception of the idea, the initial scenes, the protagonists masterfully depicte
Ryan Grinas
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute masterpiece of horror and well-crafted writing. Rarely do I ever experience a level of readability and captivating prose that Hanns Heinz Ewers manages to encapsulate in his most known literary work. Immersion is what this novel excels in and I was privileged to enjoy it now and in many future readings.
David L
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird

A femme fatale is created through a vile scientific experiment and through her short life tempts and ruins the men and women who love her. A fairly interesting look into Europe in its decadence just before World War I.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
So, this is German decadence? Not bad.
German edition – German review:

So, jetzt habe ich also meinen ersten Roman von Hanns Heinz Ewers gelesen, dessen spätere Anbiederung an den Nationalsozialismus sich unter anderem in seiner Horst Wessel-Hagiographie zum Ausdruck bringt, und die spätere Rezeption stark bestimmt. Ganz frei machen kann ich mich davon sicherlich nicht.

Alraune, der zweite Teil der Trilogie um Frank Braun (angeblich ein recht deutliches Alter Ego des Autors), ist deutlich von Dekadenz und Ästhetizismus des Fin-de-Siècl
Jose Conde
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Se parece mucho a Villiers y su "Eva futura". Son dos libros alternativos al mito de Frankenstein que tienen mucho contenido simbólico, muy propio de la época, aquí muy centrado en los mitos de la vampiresa o de Lilith. Aparte de eso hace una pintura muy interesante de los personajes cínicos y perversos, sobre todo de Braun y su tío, a veces esperpéntica, algo común al arte alemán de entreguerras, sobre todo si pensamos en el expresionismo como movimiento multidisciplinar. Pero tiene graves prob ...more
Andrea Love
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
A fascinating period horror story. Beautifully translated and illustrated, this story entraps even the unwilling reader from the start, with dark, deep characters that hide their true selves beneath thin veneers of propriety. Worth the read, even if only from a historical perspective, to illustrate what pushed the boundaries of propriety during this time period.
(Great to learn that this is actually the second book of a trilogy! More encouragement to keep on reading).
May 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read this because I really loved The Spider, a short story by Ewers. Maybe this book would have also worked as a short story. Knowing that Alraune was an evil, supernatural being from the start, I just couldn't understand her sudden romantic shift towards the end. The folklore behind was nice, though.
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bingo-2014
I was really excited to read it because I had an original copy (of the translation) in my hands which is quite rare apparently and I was very honored to be trusted with it!

Quite an interesting read I must say I've never really read anything like it. Definitely not for kids.

Review Soon.
Stephanie Lindsay Hagen
Mar 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, first-reads
Joe Bandel's translation of Hanns Heinz Ewers' "Alraune", is enthralling. Mahlon Blaine's illustrations are bizarre, beautiful. What more can I say...I was disturbed, fascinated, repulsed, entranced...trapped with all the other helpless fools.
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
De los mejores libros que he leído.
Ivan Sagesse
Valdemar #9
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German actor, poet, philosopher, and writer of short stories and novels.

While he wrote on a wide range of subjects, he is today known chiefly for his works of horror, particularly his trilogy of novels centered around the adventures of Frank Braun, a character modeled not too loosely on himself.

The best known of these is Alraune

Other books in the series

Frank Braun Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  • Vampire
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“And in the livid night there creeps a basilisk, spawned by the moon after its strange fashion. The moon – eternally barren - is its father, but its mother is the sand, barren likewise: this is the mystery of the desert. Many say that it is an animal, but this is not so, it is a thought, growing there where there is no earth and no seed: a thought which sprang from that which is eternally barren, and now assumes strange forms which life does not know. This is the reason that no one can describe this being, because it is like nothingness, indescribable.” 19 likes
“You cannot deny, my dear friend, that there are in existence creatures who are neither man nor beast, but strange unearthly creations, born of the nefarious passions that arise in distorted minds.” 8 likes
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