The modest Thomas Mann boom, begun with the recent publication (by New Directions) of his early stories, continues with this fine new English translation of the author's last great novel, first published in 1948. A work written in old age and suffused with Mann's moral despair over his country's complacent embrace of Nazism, Doctor Faustus unrelentingly details the rise and fall of Adrian Leverkhn, a gifted musician (modeled, as Mann admitted, on modernist innovator Arnold Schoenberg) who effectively sells his soul to the devil for a generation of renown as the greatest living composer. Woods's vigorous translation works brilliantly on two counts: It catches both the logic and the music of Mann's intricate mandarin sentences (if one reads closely, the rewards are great); and it gives the novel's narrator (``Adrian's intimate from his hometown'') a truly distinctive voice, making him more of an involved character than a rhetorical device. Mann's most Dostoevskyan novel should, in this splendid new version, speak more powerfully than ever to contemporary readers. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"John E. Woods is revising our impression of Thomas Mann, masterpiece by masterpiece." The New Yorker "Doctor Faustus is Mann's deepest artistic gesture... Finely translated by John E. Woods." The New Republic "Arguably the great German novel" New York Times "Perhaps not since Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus has a novelist conveyed so tangibly and exaltedly the mechanism and the aesthetic effect in musical performance" New York Times "The real masterpiece" New York Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Editorial Reviews
This is a brooding, masterful book by one of the greatest writers of all time. Better be prepared to look some things up. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jeffrey Cass
This is probably the most painstaking desperate book I have ever read. Here, Thomas Mann shows his skepticism about Germany ever becoming a country again, his doubts about the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by R Parreira
As a young man, I did not like Thomas Mann's books -- or thought I didn't. It turns out that what I didn't like were the English translations of them that were available at the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by DoctorJoeE
Taking my time reading this impressive study of genius purportedly written by a stuffy intellectual. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Linda's Lookout
This book is dense and not the fastest read in the world, but it is worth getting through. With his portrayal of the lead character, Mann makes such a great commentary on human... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Puja Guha
...definitely not a light read!
For my part, it was interesting to consider the circumstances under which this book was written - the author had fled Nazi Germany so as... Read more
In my opinion this is Mann's Magnus Opus. Filled with philosophy from ancient to modern with Schopenhauer and Nietzche predominating through character portrayals. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Chaxelle
Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus is an intellectual adventure of the highest order. There is no denying that it is a difficult read, mainly because of its references to German culture... Read morePublished 22 months ago by colotes
I have not read the Porter-Lowe translation, nor do I read German. That being said, I'm enjoying this version very much. This isn't just a great novel, it's an education.Published 22 months ago by jv