Magic Mountain

Thomas Mann, Translated By John E. Woods


Magic Mountain is hard to read—dense and slow moving, but that is part of the plot, distortion of time. Mann follows Hans Castrop, “one of life’s problem children” during his stay at a sanitarium in the Swiss Alps in the years preceding World War I. The characters who inhabit the sanitarium and the valley around it are just that, complete characters displaying every possible aspect of all the varied cultures of Europe in the early 1900’s. A good book, but it must have lost something in the translation because at times it just did not hold my attention.