The Magic Mountain (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Can I convince you that this book is hilarious? A turn-of-the-century German bro goes to visit his cousin in an Alpine sanatorium, becomes obsessed with mortality, contracts TB, stays seven years. Is he really sick? Is it an elaborate procrastination? Is the suspended existence of the sanatorium a metaphor for our own incapacity to face life? Or for the final gasps of a doomed bourgeoisie? The interpretations are endless; the execution is flawless.

— Maddie


In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. The Magic Mountain is a monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.

About the Author

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

Praise For…

“All the characters in Thomas Mann’s masterpiece come considerably closer to speaking English in John E. Woods’s version . . . Woods captures perfectly the irony and humor.” –New York Times Book Review

“[Woods’s translation] succeeds in capturing the beautiful cadence of [Mann’s] ironically elegant prose.” –Washington Post Book World

“[The Magic Mountain] is one of those works that changed the shape and possibilities of European literature. It is a masterwork, unlike any other. It is also, if we learn to read it on its own terms, a delight, comic and profound, a new form of language, a new way of seeing.” –from the new Introduction by A. S. Byatt
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679772873
ISBN-10: 0679772871
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: October 1st, 1996
Pages: 720
Language: English
Series: Vintage International