This book has been a favourite of mine for a long time, and it's great to see it presented in such a fine-looking new edition.
The story is full of fantastic and bizarre characters and the plot twists and turns mercilessly. This wonderful translation does full justice to the colourful, macabre style of the original. A highly influential classic of German literature that certainly deserves greater appreciation in the English-speaking world.
I love all of Hoffmann's works and was delighted to see that there have been a couple of translations of this work appear in the last two years.
The story is a wonderful gothic mystery told with a fair amount of humour, full of all the themes of the romantic / gothic period.
As the two translations go, this book is a reprint of a translation last published in the 1960s. As such it does have a kind of out of date feel to it when compared to the Grosvenor House translation which has a much more modern feel to it which was only done last year.
A monk dabbles with a diabolic elixir, runs amok across Europe and is tormented by a sinister double.
Although this contains all the usual Hoffmann themes it somehow didn't grab me as much as his other work. It has its moments, and may satisfy the cravings of confirmed Hoffmann addicts (of which I am one), but it's probably not the best place for a newcomer to start. That would be 'Tomcat Murr' or the Oxford World Classics 'Golden Pot and other Tales'.