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Death in Venice – Thomas Mann



Posted September 4, 2016 by

Death in Venice – Thomas Mann – 1912

Reviewed by: Lale 

The title “Death In Venice” might lead some of us to imagine this book to be a murder-mystery with hide and chase in the narrow, dark back alleys and canals of Venice. However, the one of us who discovered otherwise, was not disappointed.

This long short story is about a respectable, older man, an author, who goes to Venice for a rest and relaxation. Almost immediately upon arrival, he catches the sight of a beauty and the deadly obsession begins.

Narrated simply, clearly and fluently, it is the perfect book to make an entrance to Thomas Mann’s creations. If you make “Venice” your first Mann, you will want to read his other books too.

There is also a movie based on this story, a Cannes Film Festival award recipient, which I will recommend against. The book is very short, not even a novella, so in order to fill the 2 hours of film, the director Luchino Visconti had to stretch the story with still scenes where nothing happens or moves. If you dozed off for a few minutes, when you opened your eyes again, you would be looking at the same scene, the same facial expressions. Mahler’s music was not a selling point for me either (and you have to understand that it took some courage on my part to say this, knowing many passionate Mahler fans).

Reading the book takes almost about the same time as watching the movie. So, if you have only one set of two hours, then skip the movie and go for the real thing.

ReadLit Team


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