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Tonio Kröger

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,143 ratings  ·  276 reviews
A title in the Bristol Classical Press German Texts series, in German with English notes, vocabulary and introduction. Thomas Mann (1875-1955), was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1929, and "Tonio Kroger" occupies a central position in his spiritual and artistic development. A study of youth, it draws together many strands of his life and work: the duality of his ...more
Paperback, 67 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Bristol Classical Press (first published 1903)
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Buddenbrooks redux.

I can not really imagine anyone reading this for pleasure. As a piece of literature it is as dull as ditchwater, and just as murky.
It starts engagingly enough. Tonio falls in love, first with Hans, then with Inge. Both represent that class of good, solid, decent Northern citizen that Tonio admires so much, those who live their lives as unselfconsciously as the flowers of the field and the birds of the air, without reflection, without self-doubt. Tonio himself, as his name wou
What makes this book special for me are two things—its message and the author’s obvious appreciation of and lyrical prose describing nature by the sea.

I thought I should add the above!


We follow a German boy from his teens into his thirties. The story moves forward chronologically in leaps and jumps—w don’t lean of every year or event in his life. It’s at the end of the 1900s. In his youth, he lives in northern Germany, near Hamburg. His father is from northern Germa
“ich stehe zwischen zwei welten, bin in keiner daheim und habe es infolge dessen [sic!] ein wenig schwer.”

english translation according to goodreads: “i stand between two worlds. i am at home in neither, and i suffer in consequence.”

had to read this for school and probably wouldn’t have done so otherwise because it isn’t really my cup of tea and what i enjoy reading in my free time. the characters were dull and the lack of plot got tedious after a while. i still have to say that, while blunt,
Albeit that the very first time I read Thomas Mann's 1903 novella Tonio Kröger at the age of thirteen (after discovering it on my parents' bookshelf and then having stealthily snuck Tonio Kröger upstairs to my bedroom for some clandestine reading, since my parents had kind of declared their German literature books as still too thematically advanced for me, which of course I found majorly annoying and as such also a rule that needed to be ignored and especially so because I was at that time also ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elham by: Luís Blue Yorkie
Shelves: classics, germany
Tonio Kröger is the first work that I read of Mann's world. I am glad I did.
An autobiographical novel in which profound, artistic and literary character of Thomas Mann is demonstrated in the form of unaccepted loves, first in his childhood (Hans Hansen) and second in his adolescence (Ingeborg Holm), both blondes with blue eyes who could never understand the melancholic, poetic face of an artist. As he grows up, in his thirty, Tonio Kröger who is now a great literary writer rediscovers his ideal
Wiebke (1book1review)
We read Tonio Kröger in School and I hated it, so I wanted to see if I liked it better this time. And no, I didn't. Tonio was just as annoying as when I was a teenager.
I also read Mario und der Zauberer, for the first time, and it turned out to be very tiring. I don't know, I guess Thomas Mann is not for me.

I could see how well he portrayed character, atmosphere and personalities in his writing, but somehow it kept putting me to sleep.
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Are you feeling detached, isolated, generally not understood by the majority of your social surroundings? Do not despair for you are actually not alone. Tonio Kroger is one of your friends, a fellow Artist burdened with the weight of describing the universe without taking part into it.
This novella celebrates Artistry, its agonies and ecstasies, as opposed to a life of mere living and bourgeois shallow certainties.

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable t
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
“i stand between two worlds. i am at home in neither, and i suffer in consequence.”

This is the first work of Mann that I read, and I totally loved it!
I think anyone can relate to Tonio and his feelings of detachment, loneliness and incomprehension.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
The alienation of the artist, the sense of "not belonging", all felt really flat and cliché to me. I really liked the beginning with Hans Hansen and the protagonist as kids. It felt real and fresh. However, I did not quite enjoy how the story progressed. It did not feel compelling. The conversation Tonio has with his artist friend seems like a bunch of common places and broodings of someone who clearly lacks an occupation. The idea that artists live aside from the world of common people has to s ...more
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This short novel, written in 1901, is the story of a writer's struggle for meaning and fulfillment in life and art. His artistic pursuits alienate him from the perceived joys of ordinary life. The people he admires the most are socialites who have no interest in art. He is drawn to their physical beauty (as defined by the northern German culture of the late 1800s) and awed by their social confidence. Though he has committed himself to the creative life, and knows his works will be recognized, he ...more
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, yesterday I went with Julia (the woman I live with at the moment) in the Alte Donau sidewalk, which in Vienna (where I live now) is the Danube's old sidewalk. Beautiful spots were you can lay on old wooden docks; yesterday here was very sunny, the river was calm, and among plays of light and shade birds were chirping, people sunbathing, reading, sleeping, playing chess, and so on and so on...
There, cradled by the Danube's lullaby, I was reading this book.
And I have a Latin mother.
And I h
This short story has perhaps a bit aged. The reader should make an effort to go back in time to feel the emotion. The work, however, stands out of the lot and worth a visit, with an unexpected fall. However, I regret not having felt the pathos of "Death in Venice", and I left a little on my hunger. ...more
Song Yee
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
There is a solid reason why Mann's my favorite: he pores into his characters so deeply that I fall in love with every single one of them. ...more
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
“Tonio Kröger” must be one of Thomas Mann’s most amiable short stories. Wherever he goes, the improbably named Tonio always feels out of place and yearns to belong like “everyone else”. On the one hand, Tonio is driven to fulfill his destiny as a writer, presumably an inheritance from his vivacious dark-eyed Mediterranean mother, and on the other hand, Herr Kröger longs to fit into his North German hometown, like his respectable blond, blue-eyed father.

It takes a jibe from another member of the
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"What I have done is nothing, not much—as good as nothing. I shall do better things, Lisaveta—this is a promise. While I am writing, the sea's roar is coming up to me, and I close my eyes. I am looking into an unborn and shapeless world that longs to be called to life and order, I am looking into a throng of phantoms of human forms which beckon me to conjure them and set them free: some of them tragic, some of them ridiculous, and some that are both at once—and to these I am very devoted. But my ...more
lily ☁️
1 1/2 stars

DNF at 23%.

If you know me at all, you know that I hate giving up on books. However, I'm not the most patient person in the world, and when it comes to books I don't particularly enjoy, I've learned not to finish books just for the sake of it. After all, time is precious, and you shouldn't waste it on books that don't satisfy you, when there are so many others on your to-read list that probably will.

Just for future reference, I will put down a few words, just to remind myself why I aba
Priscila Jordão
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: alemã
There is an echo through the works of great authors: they repeat theirselves on and on. Sometimes profoundly, others not that deep, their writings frequently surround the same themes.

It's not different in this novel. Tonio Kroeger pre-announces some of Mann's greatests concerns to be better developed later in his short stories and romances.

The passage of time, solitude, the artist's exile from reality and maybe even homossexuality are some of what we'll find here as Mann introduces us to Tonio
Another masterpiece by Thomas Mann, should not be missed.
Carme Diem
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite book ever. I love the way in which Thomas Mann writes, he is telling you a story with a philosopher eye and an aestethicism one. The way in which he sees sufferance as part of art, the biggest part of the artist sense, the deep entrance to the abyss of existence, is just stunning. Somebody taught me to take quotes from good books, those phrases or sentences that make an echo to your heart, I was unable to do it from this book so I choose to took the entire book as a m ...more
Victor Bevz
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
So far I've only read the English translation, but the skill of the writing was in the imagery of tension. The mortal ultimatum of "icy intellect and scorching sense" is enough to summon up the suffering artist in anybody. ...more
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Tonio Kröger stood enveloped by wind and clamor, lost in this eternal, ponderous, deafening roar that he loved so much."

This short novel is an hymn to the melancholic, tormented and strayed souls inhabiting the universe, that however are able to find some kind of joy in the depths of their sorrow. I'm glad I finally got my hands on it and I absolutely recommend to add this book on your shelves.
Jan 15, 2021 added it
definitely a little inconsistent, but i think it has my favorite vibes of any Thomas Mann work ... pretty much a book about being a misunderstood teenager (the things he expresses here, people express in wojaks today), except in fin-de-siecle Germany and written incredibly beautifully ... also, nobody can write about the sea the way Thomas Mann does ....
E Azra
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
That was very cool. I like it so much, I wish that, this story should be more longer
Barnaby Thieme
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, german
Tonio Kröger is a fictionalized account of Mann's upbringing and early artistic career, which has rightly been compared to "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." But if James Joyce is the master of articulating the Jungian unconscious in literature, then Mann is the master of the Freudian, and this story simply seethes with a repression which weighs heavily on our hero protagonist, often detectable only when we realize that his attention has lingered on an article of clothing just a bit too lo ...more
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
From the beginning of the novella, Tonio, the product of an un-poetic businessman and his exotic, alien wife, is conflicted. His desire to be an artist is at odds with his desire for a more pedestrian, bourgeois life. The beginning of the novella concentrates on his two early loves: Hans, a blond athletic specimen of a normal boy who reads books about horses not poetry, and Ingebord, the female equivalent of Hans. Eventually Tonio leaves both behind and is left wondering whether or not he is cap ...more
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
In his speech during the Nobel award ceremony, Thomas Mann said about "Tonio Kröger":
Als junger Mensch habe ich eine Erzählung geschrieben, die immernoch jungen Menschen wohlgefällt, den Tonio Kröger. Sie handelt vom Süden und vom Norden und von der Mischung beider in einer Person: einer konfliktvollen und produktiven Mischung. Der Süden, das ist in dieser Geschichte der Inbegriff alles geistig-sinnlichen Abenteuers, der kalten Leidenschaft des Künstlertums; der Norden dagegen der Inbegriff all
Akemi G.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-fiction
A coming-of-age novella. Short & sweet. I identify with Tonio's feeling of marginalization . . . I am not a mix-blood, but I happen to be bilingual.

I suggest you read this along with Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. Both are written by German authors, both are about the young protagonist's life and love. As you can see by the number of stars, I like Tonio better, but I'd love to hear your opinion.

(I read this, and Werther, in Japanese translation. English translation should be reasonably
Oct 10, 2016 rated it liked it
As veiled autobiography, Tonio Kröger is the left side of the book end, while "Death in Venice" the other. As a young man, TK is split by his parentage of the phlegmatic North and passionate South. In charting events of his upbringing and passage through young adulthood, TK accepted the calling of being a bourgeoise artist, a reconciliation between two temperaments. The story is told in several vignettes and conversations. The story resonates with the other stories in Mann's early work in its pl ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: germany, fiction
I missed these long, sprawling sentences
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some paragraphs are pure emotional truth genius that nothing less than five stars could apply.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

See also:
Serbian: Tomas Man

Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and Nobel Prize laureate in 1929, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psycholo

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103 likes · 10 comments
“I stand between two worlds. I am at home in neither, and I suffer in consequence. You artists call me a bourgeois, and the bourgeois try to arrest me...I don't know which makes me feel worse.” 41 likes
“Whoever loves the more is at a disadvantage and must suffer” 21 likes
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