Alok's Reviews > The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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bookshelves: 2019-final-reading-list, challenging-books, suicide

Warning: Do not read this book if you're feeling depressed, suicidal or in unrequited love.

"I experienced the warmth of a heart and the nobility of a soul in whose presence I seemed to be more than I was because I was everything I possibly could be."

I'm conflicted about this book. While I loved the extraordinarily beautiful passages I dreaded the ending and the psychology of Werther during those times.

This book put me in a moral dilemma, after its publication this book had caused a lot of copycat suicides, which were named "Werther Effect" after the book [1]. Which had even lead to banning of this book in several places. Yet it's a great book worth reading. So I feel conflicted about praising this book. I feel it's praiseworthy writing at places but it shouldn't be read by anyone feeling depressed or suicidal.

This book was in my To Read list but while reading "A Lover's Discourse", I kept coming across quotes from Werther, fearing I could be spoiled, I stopped reading that book and picked this one instead. But I'd also abandoned this book midway when the ending was foretold and when it'd also become monotonous.

I've never saved so many quotes from any book ever. But I also hated (view spoiler). I also didn't like his obsession with Charlotte. His friend must have been annoyed by that constant chanting of Lotte.

I liked the Ossian's Songs that Werther reads and how they somehow figure into the story and (view spoiler)

It's kind of ironic that I liked some of the non-obsessive romantic quotes in a book all about the unrequited love:

"Wherever her eyes fall, she eases pain and brings joy."


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Reading Progress

March 3, 2019 – Started Reading
March 22, 2019 – Finished Reading
March 23, 2019 – Shelved
March 23, 2019 – Shelved as: 2019-final-reading-list
March 23, 2019 – Shelved as: challenging-books
March 23, 2019 – Shelved as: suicide

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