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Book by Huelle Pawel
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Book lovers queue here (Scotland on Sunday)
An intriguing and atmospheric novel worthy of its inspiration. It is admirably served by Antonia Lloyd-Jones' nuanced and readable translation. (Independent)
A delightful period piece... His style is charmingly effective, the book written with an understated wit very much of the era in which it is set, and gently, deceptively provocative (Observer)
Engaging... Huelle is a skilful ironist who displays great subtlety of touch as he embraces the absurd (Financial Times)
A breezy and ingenious comic prequel to The Magic Mountain (Books of the Year) (Sean O’Brien TLS)
A writer whose work is full of depth and allusion... pulses with irony that Mann would have been proud of... wonderfully absurd humour (Independent on Sunday)
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE 2008 Picking up on a throwaway line in The Magic Mountain, Castorp tells the story of Hans Castorp?s student years in Gdansk, long before the adventures in Davos described in Thomas Mann?s novel. Pawel Huelle skilfully creates a credible scenario for this influential period in Hans Castorp?s development, imagining what happened when the rational German student was exposed to the Slavonic eastern edge of the Prussian empire. He comes across people, events and ideas that anticipate some of the encounters he will experience in years to come, including an enigmatic Polish woman who becomes his obsession. Set at the dawn of the twentieth century, Castorp faithfully recreates the atmosphere of central Europe as the storm began that would lead to two world wars. Beautifully written, full of humour, mystery and eccentricity, this is a moving tribute to a masterpiece of European literature.
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