Beth's Reviews > The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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's review
Feb 26, 2014

did not like it
bookshelves: audiobooks, 1001-books, around-the-world-group, abnormal

** spoiler alert ** Wow, I hated this book. Apparently it was Harry Potter like in its ability to create a fan base at the time. People dressed like Werther, imitated Werther, even committed suicide like Werther. Napoleon claimed to have carried it into battle in his jacket pocket. Well, fortunately, I guess, I don't feel any desire to jump on that bandwagon. Guess I'm not into German Romanticism. My main reaction as I listened to this one was "OH MY GOD, SHUT UP!!!!" And even worse, "get on with killing yourself, already, you insufferable drama queen!"

My main association was to the younger sister in Sense and Sensibility who is a little too into the drama of love, at the expense of common sense and her own well-being. This novel is a huge argument in favor of the sensibility side of that little pairing.

At the beginning of the book, Werther was somewhat less annoying, because while extravagant, he was not yet severely depressed. He spoke of the beauties of nature and waxed rhapsodic about the wisdom of children. I felt like I was getting a bunch of illustrative examples from a humanities course of the themes of German romanticism thrown at me rapid fire. But once Werther got depressed over the marriage of the woman he had been WARNED BEFORE HE EVEN MET HER NOT TO FALL FOR BECAUSE SHE WAS ENGAGED (no, I'm not annoyed at this twit of a character at all...), he became completely unbearable.

I feel a little less guilty for hating this novel because Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wasn't real into this one in retrospect either. He also soured on Romanticism by late in his life. He didn't get why everyone was so nuts for Werther, because he felt his portrayal had been pretty critical. I'm hoping I will like his other works better based on this.
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Reading Progress

February 26, 2014 – Started Reading
February 26, 2014 – Shelved
February 26, 2014 – Shelved as: audiobooks
February 26, 2014 – Shelved as: 1001-books
February 26, 2014 – Shelved as: around-the-world-group
February 26, 2014 – Finished Reading
January 17, 2017 – Shelved as: abnormal

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