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Castorp Paperback – 6 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (6 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852429453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852429454
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 302,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Book lovers queue here (Scotland on Sunday)

An intriguing and atmospheric novel worthy of its inspiration. It is admirably served by Antonia Lloyd-Jones' nuanced and readable translation. (Independent)

A delightful period piece... His style is charmingly effective, the book written with an understated wit very much of the era in which it is set, and gently, deceptively provocative (Observer)

Engaging... Huelle is a skilful ironist who displays great subtlety of touch as he embraces the absurd (Financial Times)

A breezy and ingenious comic prequel to The Magic Mountain (Books of the Year) (Sean O’Brien TLS)

A writer whose work is full of depth and allusion... pulses with irony that Mann would have been proud of... wonderfully absurd humour (Independent on Sunday)

About the Author

Pawel Huelle was born in 1957. The author of Who Was David Weiser?, Huelle is a novelist, playwright and journalist who has lived most of his life in Gdansk. His latest novel Castorp was published in Poland in 2004.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Cunliffe TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In Castorp we revisit the life of Hans Castorp, of Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. In The Magic Mountain, Hans Castorp visits his cousin, a patient in a Swiss sanatorium high up in the Alps. He is persuaded to have a medical examination, and drifts into a prolonged course of treatment during which real-life passes him by as he is drawn into the intense, over-heated relationships in the sanatorium, only brought to an end by the start of the First World War.

Pawel Huelle has written a highly effective prequel to The Magic Mountain, in which we see the young Hans Castorp leave his uncle's home in Hamburg and go to Danzig (Gdansk) to study ship-building.

Castorp's new life commences on board the ship Mercury as he sails to Danzig, in the company of three other passengers with whom he is obliged to spend an uncomfortable few days, dealing with their eccentricities and awkward conversations. On arrival at Danzig he is persuaded to delay his onward journey to his lodgings by a Dutch tradesman, Kiekiernix, who despatches his bags on to his new landlady and drags him into an elaborate and time-consuming lunch. Castorp eventually arrives at his rooms to find no sign of his land-lady or his bags, and determines to avoid all further distractions during his stay in Danzig.

He enrols at the Polytechnic and commences his studies, returning each night to his lodgings where the behaviour of his landlady and her maid cause him some consternation. He finds comfort in his beloved Maria Mancini cigars and an ample supply of Burgundy wine, and life carries on, amusing and entertainingly for the reader, as the young Hans explores his new surroundings.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mick H on 23 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my first excursion into Polish literature, and I found this book a wonderful introduction. I read books as a form of escapism, and enjoy the experience of being transported into another world by the author. Pawel has certainly managed to do just that. I'll be exploring more of his work on the strength of this book.Castorp
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