Saturday, April 25, 2020

220. The Buddenbrooks

The Buddenbrooks
Thomas Mann
1901
Around 750 pages












Well, I have officially finished reading all of the library books I hoarded in the Before Times, and am now on a strict ebook diet, which is not at all suitable to my constitution. I think this will prompt me to do some rereads soon, but in the meantime, let's talk about The Buddenbrooks.

The Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family is about the Buddenbrooks...in decline. We follow several members of this unfortunate family, including Antonia ("Tony") who is chronically misguided in love, and Christian, the black sheep of the clan.

I typically enjoy sagas that follow the fortunes of one family. We actually have another good one coming up in the not so distant future, The Forsyte Saga. Of course, the key to building these kind of exhaustive narratives is to have dynamic enough characters that readers are willing to wait as things slowly unfold. Luckily, Mann paints a lively portrait of a family doomed to fail because of their own pride and avarice. 750 pages still felt on the excessive side, but I was engaged for the entire length of the novel.

I had some previous experience with Thomas Mann prior to The Buddenbrooks that made me dread seeing his name appear on the List. I am happy to report, however, that this was fairly enjoyable, and he won't make me hate him until Doctor Faustus.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Published when Mann was 26 years old.

Mann received a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929, largely because of this novel.

UP NEXT: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Quarantine means a lot of reading time, so expect to see me back soon! In the meantime, what are your quarantine reads? Are you reading more or less when you are socially distancing?

1 comment:

  1. Well, I get more list reading done, though, as I have my family home a lot more my alone time is accordingly less. Reading the Female Quixote now...

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