Author: Thomas Mann –
Publisher: Audio Classics –
Genre: Novel, Classic –
Overall rating: 4/5 –
Writing: 4/5 –
Duration: 38:56 (very long) –
Narrator: Peter Noble –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 5/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 5/5 –
I was very happy to finally see The Magic Mountain in audiobook on my app. The production was released in 2023. I certainly did enjoy it. I admired the prowess of Peter Noble. I believe that reading that book is a monumental task. He did it splendidly.
The book’s contents made me angry, however, hence the strange rating of the acclaimed classic. I found the themes used by Mann flashy, somehow giving the impression of being made for show. I also despise the entire notion of spiritual seances (while also being aware that it is an important part of history and cultural heritage). I usually do not enjoy representations of irresponsible behavior and this book is filled with them. Of Mann’s creations, I honestly much prefer Doctor Faustus. I grant that the writing is of course exquisite and the translation from German certainly made with dedication and effort. Yet the book is so perfect, its success so necessary, that it overwhelms.
As a side note (and spoiler) – I read so many crime novels that I was sure, until almost the end of the book, that the thermometer sold to the main character at the beginning of the story was tampered to always show raised temperature. How Agatha Christie of me.
This cover is not pretty, or even smart. It is clear… I do not understand why it has to look like a project from kindergarten. I do not think it represents the contents of the book in any way.