I always meant to read The Blue Angel, having ploughed my way through the works of Heinrich Mann's younger brother, Thomas. While the latter is waywardly intellectual and portentous (suits me!) I'd heard that Heinrich was quite at odds with his brother's approach. So it was curiosity about fraternal dissonance that made me dig out an old copy of his most famous novel (aka 'Professor Unrat') - rather than the celebrated film which launched Marlene Dietrich's career. It tells the story of a classics teacher (Mutt) in a small German town whose paranoia about being mocked by his pupils leads him to ruin his life; but not before his actions reveal the hypocrisy of the townsfolk. It remains a potent satire on any society that ostensibly praises 'high learning' while privately succumbing to low yearnings - potent because (as still happens) it does not piously side with the idea that "only literature and friendship are true". Presumably a daring book in its time, it has dated. The focus on the German class system and on the educational system (it put me in mind of Musil's 'Young Torless') perhaps explain why it seldom enjoys contemporary reprints. It's an easy read, but you'd probably need an 'extra' reason for picking it up (an interest in the times, in satire, or in the Mann family, say). Mann himself had a difficult - seemingly noble - life and it would have been nice to suggest it had a stronger appeal; but the resolution lacks a dramatic satisfaction.