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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Death of Vergil is the strangest book I've ever read, 15 Dec 1999
By A Customer
The Death of Vergil is the strangest, the most demanding and quite possible the most beautiful book I've ever read. The "protagonist" is the dying writer Vergil, and the book is one long passage of almost uninterrupted stream-of-consciousness. But wait, those of you who never had the stamina to get through "Ulysses"! This one has a rythm of narration that is almost musically "catchy", and indeed, the story is deliberately composed as a symphony in 4 parts of varying tempi. What happens in this almost 500 pages long book? Well, Vergil arrives in Brundisium along with Augustus Caesar, who is going to be celebrated at his birthday a few weeks later. He then is carried from the ships to Caesars palace in the city - this is the first part of the book. He then hallucinates through the night, and finds peace in the notion of burning the Aeneid - his masterpiece. This is the second part. Then in the morning he meets friends, then Augustus, and there's a quarrel over the burning of the Aeneid, this is the third part of the book. In the fourth part Virgil dies. The action is limited to this, but the real action is in the head of the aging writer - you are there! And it's frightingly convincing (parts of the book are written in a german prison cell during World War II, the writer thus himself being close to the notion of dying). It took me 3 months to read the book (because i work full time?), and some passages I had to read twice, or thrice, to get in the right mode of concentration. So it's by no means an easy book to read.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation., 16 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Death of Virgil (Vintage International) (Paperback)
Every few years one might come across a book that is so extraordinary that you feel that you have been changed by reading it. This is such a book. The topic is an ambitious one: a meditation on what it means to be human, but Broch brings such a wealth of ideas into his work that at times are full of intense significance and meaning.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a novel can and should be, 1 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Death of Virgil (Vintage International) (Paperback)
To the point: this work is comprised of some of the most beautiful, profound, and challenging writing I've ever experienced; Joyce included. This is simply a marvelous book. 'Nuff said.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Without doubt, one of the true greats, 25 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Death of Virgil (Vintage International) (Paperback)
There is not really too much to add about this book - it is one of the most extraordinary, beautiful and unusual works of literature I have ever come accross. I have read it 4 times now, and am still finding new depths. The translation is similarly first class..
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The Death of Virgil (Vintage International)
The Death of Virgil (Vintage International) by Hermann Broch (Paperback - 1 Jan 1997)
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