Traveler of the Century: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$22.50
Qty:1
  • List Price: $30.00
  • Save: $7.50 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
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 all 2 images

Traveler of the Century: A Novel Hardcover – April 24, 2012


See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$22.50
$14.99 $2.16


Frequently Bought Together

Traveler of the Century: A Novel + Talking to Ourselves: A Novel
Price for both: $39.87

Buy the selected items together
  • Talking to Ourselves: A Novel $17.37

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

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: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Tra edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374119392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374119393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In Wandernburg, halfway between Berlin and Leipzig, a young traveler and translator named Hans finds himself strangely captivated by the town’s enigmatic geography and a kindly cave-dwelling organ-grinder. Invited to share his views on politics and literature at a weekly salon, he meets the irrepressible Sophie, who is his intellectual equal and soul mate but who also happens to be engaged to a local nobleman. At first, Hans and Sophie caress each other with mere words and glances, amid passionate discussions of Fichte and federalism. Later, they graduate to the intimacies of collaborative translation projects, as well as more corporeal forms of intercourse. But as their love grows, the structures of their Romantic-era world shift and crumble around them, and neither the lovers nor the seemingly timeless Wandernburg itself will ever be the same. Imaginatively grafting twenty-first-century literary sensibilities onto solid nineteenth-century roots, Neuman’s first novel to appear in English is a rare and delightful masterpiece: a touching love story with big things to say about Europe, the emancipation of women, and the craft of literary translation. A novel of ideas with a poet’s soul. --Brendan Driscoll

Review

Traveller of the Century doesn’t merely respect the reader’s intelligence: it sets out to worship it. An unusual talent is required to pull this off, and Neuman has it . . . A beautiful, accomplished novel: as ambitious as it is generous, as moving as it is smart.” —Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling, in The Guardian

“There should have been a sign at the entrance of the town, or on the first page of the book, that says, "Welcome to Fearless Imagination". For that is precisely what Neuman gives us: a plot throbbing with verve, characters as unusual as they are familiar, scenes that combine the carnal with the intellectual, dialogues that flow beautifully and, most of all, a subtle yet strong energy that pervades the entire narrative. Neuman's writing is a graceful waltz between things we are used to seeing as "opposites": the mind and the heart, the literary and the sexual, the political and the philosophical, ideas and emotions. He has a discerning eye for the foibles of human existence and yet an unwavering compassion for, and understanding of, them. Rarely comes a novel that blends poetry, history, philosophy, semantics, politics, a murder mystery – and love, that too – with such skill.” —Elif Shafak

“A deeply erudite but wickedly entertaining novel, with passion as well as reason in the mix, this tour de force from the Argentinian-born prodigy matches charming plot-twists with mind-stretching dialectic. In a captivating translation by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, it heralds the arrival in English of a first-class literary traveller.” —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

“Good readers will find something that can be found only in great literature, the kind written by real poets, a literature that dares to venture into the dark with open eyes and that keeps its eyes open no matter what . . . The literature of the twenty-first century will belong to Neuman and a few of his blood brothers.” —Roberto Bolaño

“This is above all a novel of ideas, of heady conversation, of intellect. Which, fortunately, does not make it any less riveting . . . Traveler of the Century is like the wandering city in which the traveler finds he cannot escape, a place to get lost in.” —Stephen Sparks, Three Percent

“A book so filled with life and ideas and pleasure, a book that contemplates what it means to wake up and wander as well as what it means to settle down in repose. Traveler of the Century is a long of delights.”—The Mookse and the Gripes

Traveler of the Century has already achieved impressive things for its young author in Spain and elsewhere, but this by no means guarantees its success in the litmus test of the English-speaking world, famously resistant to literature in translation. We cannot predict how this book will be received in the months and years to come, but there is little doubt in my mind that it deserves its place in the sun, as a work of true beauty and scintillating intelligence by a writer of prodigious talents. On the evidence of Traveler of the Century, we might well be convinced by Roberto Bolaño’s much-vaunted prediction that the literature of the 21st century will belong to Neuman and a handful of his blood brothers. Whatever one’s opinion of such elevated claims, books as stimulating, erudite, and humane as this do not come along very often.” —Richard Gwyn, The Independent

“There are moments here of exhilarating beauty [in Traveler of the Century] . . . Andrés Neuman writes about history and literature and the relation between them with an intelligence that his American contemporaries cannot match. His first book in English must not be his last.” —Michael Gorra, The New Republic

“An exceptional, fun, mature novel from a writer wise beyond his years.” —The Guardian (UK)

Traveller of the Century takes on big ideas, and does so with an acuity that raises it to the level of great literature.” —Michael Patrick Brady, Boston Globe 

Traveler of the Century is astonishingly complex in its theological, metaphysical and scientific interests . . . Reading the book, I was mesmerized by Neuman’s attention to historical detail and his patience with the circumvolutions of the human mind . . . I love this book, and not only because of its melodic cadence, superbly rendered by translators Nick Caistor and Lorenza García . . . Neuman, an Argentine writer, has given us a lesson on how to transcend what Borges called ‘our provincialism’—the obsession with looking at our immediate environment as the only explanation of who we are: He has written a book about the world-less world of ideas.” —Ilan Stavans, The Jewish Daily Forward

“The novel flirts with genre and style, oscillating between romance, thriller, classic historical fiction, poetry, magic realism, and epistolary forms. Ultimately, though, Traveler of the Century is a love story . . . Hans and Sophie’s amorous rendezvous are rendered with the couple wrapped in collaborative translation as their affections and their shared passion for language become one.” —Ben Kupstas, The L Magazine

“[With Traveler of the Century] Neuman has achieved the dream of every novelist: the Total Novel, a venture accomplished only by major authors like Tolstoy, Musil, and Faulkner.” —Miguel García-Posada, Abc (Spain)

“One of the best novels that I have read in a long time.” —Santos Sanz Villanueva, Mercurio (Spain)

“The work of a master of narrative art.” —José RiÇo Direitinho, Público (Portugal)

“[Neuman’s] Wandernburg is as mobile and conceptual as a Calvino city, as metaphorical as a Borges country, as cheerful as García Márquez’s Macondo . . . Neuman, with Traveler of the Century, has multiplied the literary language and created a classic.” —Daria Galateria, La Repubblica (Italy)

“ A masterpiece . . . Neuman is not only brilliant news for Latin American literature, but for European literature as well.” —Maarten Steenmeijer, Volkskrant (Netherlands)

“Neuman was singled out for praise by Roberto Bolaño and it’s easy to see why: like that late author, Neuman combines love and intrigue with serious intellectual engagement. A novel of ideas somewhere between Kafka’s The Castle and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, Neuman’s English-language debut is a rich deconstruction of the competing currents of history, less a postmodernist pastiche than proof that modernism is still alive in the Spanish-speaking world.” —Publishers Weekly

“Imaginatively grafting twenty-first-century literary sensibilities onto solid nineteenth-century roots, Neuman’s first novel to appear in English is a rare and delightful masterpiece: a touching love story with big things to say.” —Brendan Driscoll, Booklist (starred review)


More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
3
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 12 customer reviews
Ergo, I shall simply put forth my experience of reading the novel.
Daniel Myers
Seldom have authors created characters that so captivated me, nor challenged me to consider such unusual topics as "translation".
Lifehiker
I loved almost all the characters in this book and it had the look and feel of reading a classic.
Stephen M. Fragale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did not think this represents the next wave of the modern novel. Reminded me,with all of the intercalated discussions of philosophy and literature in the salon, iof something much older like the longer works of victor Hugo and Tolstoy. The discussions do not advance the plot other than to allow him to caricature the people involved and to show off his breadth of knowledge
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
Format: Paperback
I had this book on my wish list for quite awhile before taking the plunge and giving it a try. It's been quite awhile now since I read it and wasn't going to review this but I noticed a few negative reviews...especially the one star. Not sure how anyone can have trouble getting through this but to each their own I guess...I had trouble putting it down. I loved almost all the characters in this book and it had the look and feel of reading a classic. When I started reading this I thought oh no this is a period piece, which I do like but wasn't really in the mood for a dark and heavy book. This book isn't light reading by any means, but I definitely don't think it's heavy. In fact I loved the way the writer engages the reader in diverse topics from philosophy to politics and then to love and sex. I also liked the way the story is set up; the traveler only plans on spending a few days in the town and keeps finding reasons to stay. Through the story we are also given glimpses of all different classes of society in the town, and how the main character interacts almost equally with all of them. There is no discrimination or awkwardness or sense of not belonging in any of his interactions...the only negative I can think of is the ending wasn't completely satisfying, but to me these characters were so engaging I could have read another 500-600 pages and not gotten bored.
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
By deborah novoa on May 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit too long, but once the first 200 pages are gone, you wont be able to let it go!
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
Format: Paperback
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fames to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! Adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side, and now ‘tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: ---do I wake or sleep?
Ode To A Nightingale – John Keats

Above is the last verse of Romantic poet John Keats’ “Ode To A Nightingale” and I am probably correct in guessing that not one novel has used the poetic themes of the inevitability of death, of pleasure being fleeting and of transience interspersed with sexual interplay. “What remains of my life down here, Sophie echoed, kneeling.” Although the scenes are more reminiscent of D.H Lawrence instead of “Fifty Shades of…”

“The Traveller of the Century” is a complex novel exploring history, metaphysics, death, language, translation, the sense of belonging, literary criticism and more in its 578 pages (my edition’s length). We begin with the mysterious Hans, a travelling translator, arriving in the ever shifting city of Wandernburg. His intent is to stay one night and travel onwards, but he becomes distracted by the city and its inhabitants and continually delays his departure – “I suppose travel has gone out of fashion, the new fashion is to arrive”. This is where we as readers become distracted as we fall for the charm of the ever shifting city and its mysterious inhabitants.

For my full review go to [...]
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
Format: Kindle Edition
Engrossing from page to page, first to last, while, again and again, being struck by the lightning of true poetry. An extraordinary novel that borrows from past, 19th-century examples of the form, while offering (without advertising the fact) a compelling account of how it feels to be alive today.
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 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on August 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am full aware that attempting to encapsulate this grand novel in an Amazon review - any review, really - is a somewhat futile endeavour. Ergo, I shall simply put forth my experience of reading the novel. The first thing the prospective reader will want to know, I suspect, after reading all the superlative plaudits which the book has received is, "Come now, what is this book all about?" I should say, categorically: Wandernburg, the curious 19th Century city where everything herein takes place and which defies cartography. But this is question-begging: "What then is Wandernburg?". To quote from Neuman's text:

"Looked at from the sky, the city is like a candle floating on water. At its centre, the wick, is the gaslit glow of the market square. Beyond the square, darkness gains ground in an ever-widening circle. Threads of light spread out like a pattern of nerves along the remaining streets. Rising from the walls like pale creepers, the oil lamps scarcely illuminate the ground beneath them. Night in Wandernburg is not as black as the wolf's mouth - it is what the avid wolf devours."

Or would that be avid reader? The curious experience of reading the work, for me, was that, despite the central characters in the novel being Hans and Sophie and the central narrative that of their amour, there was a certain transparency to it all, the atmosphere of Wandernburg, which imbued me with a certain sense of floating above or around their love. I felt distanced, somehow displaced from their supposed deep emotions, just as I was by the arid discussion of German philosophers in Sophie's salon whom nobody takes seriously anymore, for good reason, but who were de rigueur in the 19th Century.
Read more ›
2 Comments 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

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?