Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Nietzsche in Turin: An Intimate Biography Hardcover – December, 1997

14 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$11.94 $2.20

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

British journalist Lesley Chamberlain chronicles the extraordinary year, 1888, during which the expatriate German philosopher wrote three of his greatest works: Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, and Ecce Homo. More fundamentally, Chamberlain reclaims Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) from cliché, replacing the misogynist, protofascist madman of myth with a vulnerable human being--proud, lonely, an avid walker and eater--who questioned all received wisdom in his effort to give men and women their freedom. Chamberlain's elegant text is passionately personal, buttressed by careful scholarship. She succeeds admirably in her goal "to befriend Nietzsche."

From Booklist

Chamberlain is the author of a book titled The Food and Cooking of Eastern Europe (1990), and now she is the author of a beautifully written and powerfully analyzed biography of Nietzsche. She centers the work on Nietzsche's final years, which he spent in Turin, tired and alone. But he was a solitary traveler, except that his body was finally giving up to the relentless encroachment of syphilis. Two years after arriving in Turin in 1888, after his great mind slipped into dementia, he would be dead. Chamberlain's Nietzsche is not the fanatical bigot who received his just deserts in his final insanity but rather a brilliant person who struggled with his frailties and found inspiration in them. Her discussion of the relationship between Nietzsche and the Wagners and the break in their friendship is extremely enlightening in many ways, and the examinations of Nietzsche's works, particularly of The Antichristian (also The Antichrist) and Ecce Homo, will correct many popular views. A gem of a book to start off the new year. Bonnie Smothers
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador USA; Reprint edition (December 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312181450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312181451
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,128,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By C. Middleton on March 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Nietzsche's writings have been interpreted, misinterpreted, translated, mistranslated and mutated to serve many individual interests - from the evils of the Third Reich to the man's only sister, 'editing' his work to suit her personal, social and political gains. Like Freud, Nietzsche has been used and abused as a platform in the creation of 'new' philosophies, some citing his work as inspiration, while others, in a fit of intellectual dishonesty, claim his ideas as their own. It has been said many times that he is the most misunderstood philosopher of the modern age. From my readings and experience, this claim is not far from the truth. This brilliant book, however, in a single brush of elegance and heart, re-examines Fredric Nietzsche and his work in a gentle, unpretentious though concise way, and attempts to introduce or re-introduce readers to this intriguing, inspiring and highly complex mind.
Chamberlain writes with passion and intuitive insight about the last sane year of Nietzsche's life while he lived and worked in the beautiful city of Turin. This was more than any other a happy and productive time in the professor's life. This is much more than a biographical narrative, but a brave exploration by Chamberlain into the sights, sounds, thoughts and relationships of this fragile though contradictory philosopher. This book is not so much a cerebral approach to the man and his thought, but an emotional, visceral appraisal of a unique thinker striving to understand the human condition.
Of the many biographical narratives about Nietzsche's descent into madness, Chamberlain is the most sensitive without the sentimentalism or coldness similar to the many other descriptions I've encountered. It strikes at the heart with precision and leaves a lasting impression.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Hopkins on June 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
To the comment that this book suffers because it's not a sufficient introduction to Nietzsche's philosophy I must put in here that the book was just as obviously not intended to do so. I loved it as a beautiful exception to the normally stultifying, over-researched and over-analyzed books that are supposed to be about N., but wind up being more about their authors. This one takes you on a journey to the settings of N's last productive year, extrapolates both from his writing/letters and the memoirs of those who knew him into reasonable possibilities for how his work grew out of the way he lived. The author clearly loves her subject and just as clearly makes no lofty claims for her interpretations. In the end I was quite moved by the whole thing. A wonderful book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tadd Wilson (twilsonb@gmu.edu) on March 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Chamberlain does a good job of painting a picture of Nietzsche's harrowed yet sublime life. However, the work makes obvious the fact that she is NOT an expert in his philosophy. It is a decent, playful exploration of Nietzsche, but surely not a serious introduction to his thought or its internal evolution.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Lesley Chamberlain does an excellent job describing Nietzsche's discovery of Turin. I particularly enjoyed her approach to writing this biography: trying to become a friend of Nietzsche, going to the places he loved, describing how his surroundings and lifestyle influenced his thoughts and works. It makes me wonder why some other biographers don't go through the same exercise. This biography is fluent in style, easy to follow, yet substantial in information. Lesley Chamberlain does not just describe the professor's life, but offers interpretations of his writings that he completed in Turin. The author always makes it clear where she describes her own interpretations. The more inquisitive reader will find the supporting evidence included in the endnotes extremely helpful. Overall, this biography is well researched and nicely written.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
lesley chamberlain, a traveler, food critic, and philosopher, is admirably equipped to write about a man who was also those things. we see turin almost through nietzsche's eyes, the hotels, bookstores,theaters and grocery stores, the weather and even the predominant colors. we see the overman himself getting lost on trains, smiling at comic operettas, and surviving on sausages mailed to him by mom. we also see the working philosoher in his final productive year, reaching a crescendo of creativity at the same time he struggles to evade syphlitic madness. chamberlain has an eye out for his weak points: are his books mad, was he a proto-nazi and an anti-semite? chamberlain suggests that war and the military, of which nietzsche had personal experience, were frequent metaphors for him, and can lead to misunderstanding when nietzsche's style turned as heated and shrill as at last it did. a book full of color, thought, ompassion, and not a little criticism, too.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By g_hindin@hotmail.com on May 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found Lesley Chamberlain's book to be a thoughtful, sensitive, and insightful exploration of Nietzsche's often heart-wrenching life. Many times it touched chords which resonated what so deeply moves me both about Nietzsche's philosophy and his struggles to master himself in life. With this book Lesley Chamberlain breaths new life into this misused and ill abused philosopher. I recommend it to anyone with an open heart and interest in the relationship between Nietzsche the man and his philosphy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?