- 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:
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The Sorrows of Young Werther Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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?
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"all we are doing is to paint our prison walls with colourful figures and bright views" pp. 30-1
This is a classic story of unrequited love ending in the suicide... Read more
The Sorrow of Young Werther may have been a revelation in the 18th century, but (unlike most classics I've read) it doesn't stand up to the passage of time. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jonathon Smith
great product as described, great service, fast delivery. would recommend highly A+++Published 9 months ago by Kamaldip Kahlwan
I enjoyed the way it was written more than what, was written, if you see what I mean.Published 11 months ago by D.P.Bolton.
This is a review for the e-book, not the literary work. A shamefully poor effort by Penguin. 'The' is regularly transcribed as 'die', and numerous other irritating errors. Read morePublished 18 months ago by RF Esher
Johanne Wolfgang von Goethe is one of the giants of German literature. He lived between 1749 and 1832. His influence on numerous writers was significant. Read morePublished 22 months ago by John P. Jones III
Great! Grim. More than a tad blasphemous though. But one can relate to the heart-aggrieved young man and the pretty Bavarian setting.Published 22 months ago by Red Moon Master
Interesting and thought provoking but it does take a lot of concentration but good thoughts for the day and sayings to mull over.Published on 26 Aug. 2014 by Jean Flint