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The Sorrows of Young Werther Audio Download – Unabridged

3.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 44 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 29 Jan. 2010
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00383CAP4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
We tend to think of our era as unique when we descry the impact that the media has on our young people's behavior. Well the same thing happened 200 years ago when this book was first published. Impressionable young readers who identified so completely with Werther went out and committed suicide by the droves.
Werther is the prototypical Romantic male, who "feels" more deeply than the rest of humanity. Unlike Heathcliffe, who settles on revenge as an answer to his thwarted designs, Werther takes it out on himself. Of course, there's a great deal of self-destruction at work in Heathcliffe's persona too.
I would recommend this to a reader who is just getting to know Goethe. I read it when I was about eighteen and it definitely struck a nerve with me at that time. It made me want to read everything by Goethe I could find in translation.
Read it, and if you like it, as I am sure you will, go on to Goethe's two great Romantic novels, Elective Affinities and Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship. I found in my earlier readings that I never went wrong with Penguin Classics translations. They're normally all top-notch, whether Greek, Latin, French, German, Russian, etc. PS: If you're a young reader, please don't take Werther too much to heart. It's only a novel, ok?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Is this really a work of genius as has traditionally been proclaimed? I think it is very well crafted, bit by bit showing the state of mind of a young man ever more lost in romantic notions. The trouble with it is, it's so ridiculously over-the-top and becomes so devoid of any real love, other than a self-centred egotism that I think the only way it can really be called great literature is if it was intended in part as a parody and satire. Yet it seems to have been written in all earnestness.

I'm reminded of Keats, another twenty-something Romantic writer with great potential, but who only ever really wrote teenage emotion, albeit elegantly. In Goethe's novel, Werther is such an idiot really, and there are such obvious flaws and unbalanced self-regard in his logic, whether talking about suicide, or love, or God - that if this was intended as serious literary reflection it's quite pathetic. (Spoiler) As an insight into the unbalanced mind of someone who kills themselves it is very good; as literature with anything worthy to say it is useless.

I haven't read his other works, and perhaps this is just his 'young' novel and not the reason for all the 'Goethe Institutes' that were spread around the world. I hope his later works had something deeper to say about life and love.
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Format: Paperback
Two true stories woven together so as to provide a tragic love story and a direct insight into Goethe's mind. Simple, poetic, tragic and thoughtful. A journey alongside genius.

When Napoleon met Goethe he is reported to have said, "There is a Man!" Napoleon was a big fan of Goethe and read this book no less than seven times. Perhaps not surprisingly, because its semi-autobiographical nature makes it an almost direct insight into Goethe's genius.

The story is based on two separate but related true stories. First Goethe's own stay in the village of Wetzlar in 1771 when he was 23. He met Charlotte Buff who was engaged to Christian Kestner and seems to have fallen in love with her and possibly her with him, but neither acted on their feelings out of respect and possibly love for Kestner. The second concerns a mutual friend, Wilhelm Jerusalem, who shot himself over his love for Elisabeth Herd, a married woman. Much is known of the actual facts of these two stories and Goethe's synthesis of himself and Jerusalem into the fictional Werther follows the facts remarkably closely so that it seems when he talks about Werther's feelings he is describing his own.

Goethe has that clarity and simplicity of thought that defines genius and he has sufficient self-confidence in his own abilities so as not to need to display his cleverness. Instead he plainly and simply sets out the story and his/Werther's thoughts and emotions about what is happening. He tries to be a fine human being against the tide of his emotions, and there is much to appreciate in his relationships with others and in his observations about the simple pleasures in life.
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote with this probably one of the world’s most notorious novels, which since first publication has been responsible for a certain way of thinking. Hugely influential on the Romantic Movement, it is easy to see why. This only took about six weeks to write, but has been loved ever since it first appeared, and I must admit that I have read this many times.

Set out mainly in the style of letters, but not completely an epistolary novel we hear from Werther here, and how he falls in love with a certain Charlotte. We read of what happens, as Charlotte is betrothed to Albert. This short novel catapulted Goethe to the heights of celebrity, and it is known that as such there was a sort of cult that was created by this book and the tragedy that ensues, and the cult was not just in the tragedy, but in dress and other merchandise, in many ways like we saw in this country with the publication of ‘Pamela’.

Written in the style of a Strum und Drang, this is what helped to give rise to Romanticism and is still an interesting read. Because of what ultimately happens here we can still see this way of thought going on today, and although possibly such events did and do happen in real life it has now become a part of a woman’s fantasy to think that what happens is quite natural, although it may not be.

This book I have always personally loved, but I do know quite a few people who hate this, so please be aware of this if you haven’t read this before. In all though at times we all need a bit of tragedy and this book should help fulfil your requirements.
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