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With this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Thomas Mann rose to the front ranks of the great modern novelists, ultimately winning the Nobel Prize in 1929. In The Magic Mountain, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps—a community devoted exclusively to sickness—as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality.
To this hermetic yet intrigue-ridden world comes Hans Castorp, a "perfectly ordinary" young man who arrives for a short visit and ends up staying seven years. For on the Magic Mountain, Hans will succumb both the the lure of eros and to the intoxication of ideas. A monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, The Magic Mountain is a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.
“All the characters in Thomas Mann's masterpiece come considerably closer to speaking English in John E. Woods's version . . . Woods captures perfectly the irony and humor.” —New York Times Book Review
“[Woods's translation] succeeds in capturing the beautiful cadence of [Mann's] ironically elegant prose.” —Washington Post Book World