Tag Archives: German

The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann

The Magic Mountain, much like Oblomov, is a dangerous book. What Mann does with this novel of little action that moves at a snail’s place is illustrate just how easily one’s life, one’s youth, one’s livelihood can slowly but surely slip away…

Beyond Good and Evil
Friedrich Nietzsche

Beyond Good and Evil is a philosophical text, and a unique one. It’s uniqueness can only be appreciated if you’ve read every philosophical text written prior to Beyond Good and Evil, as well as the rest of Nietzsche’s work. I can proudly claim that I…haven’t read any of that. At all. Like, ever…

The Sorrows of Young Werther
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So I read this thing not knowing who Goethe was or what The Sorrows of Young Werther was about—nor that it was so famous. As such, I believe I approached it as objectively as one might hope to. The result…

The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka

There’s been a backlash by literariacs everywhere, who turn up their noses at people who praise The Metamorphosis. Claiming to never have read The Metamorphosis is something they wear like a trophy. In fact, if you don’t roll your eyes if The Metamorphosis is mentioned around these people, they’ll take their lattés and go elsewhere…

The Communist Manifesto
Karl Marx

The Communist Manifesto reads like something that came out of the 19th century. I myself have never been to the 19th century, but I swear, it seems like anyone could get anything published, so long as it was non-fiction and pompous…

The Neverending Story
Michael Ende

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard of The Neverending Story, and have heard of it because of the movie. The movie, in its own way, is a classic of the fantasy film genre of the 1980s (whose king, of course, is Labyrinth), and is quite enjoyable, but it differs in a couple key ways…

The Castle
Franz Kafka

The action of The Castle, Kafka’s longest work, is superb, but the major shortcoming of this novel is what makes it long: the endless, detailed conversations between characters…

The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
Walter Moers

At the outset, we’re told that Bluebear lives 27 lives, and that in this book we get to hear about 13.5 of them (“a bear must have his secrets, after all”, he says). Bluebear is, indeed, a blue bear that lives on the mythical continent of Zamonia, which existed at one time somewhere in the Atlantic (west of Africa and Europe, east of the Americas, and south of Greenland). His earliest memory is of being adrift on a walnut shell in a vast ocean…

All Quiet on the Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque

For one reason or another, I have a soft-spot for anti-war novels from the 20s. All Quiet on the Western Front is one such novel…

Siddhartha
Herman Hesse

In a nutshell, Siddhartha is a book about a Brahman’s son’s lifelong journey of self-discovery…