Pawel Huelle‘s latest book, Castorp, can probably be enjoyed on a number of levels.Â As it is a prequel to Thomas Mann’s famous novel The Magic Mountain, a familiarity with that novel, Mann’s work, and the literature of the period will give you a deeper appreciation of Huelle’s novel.
Or you could just be a curious reader like me who comes to the novel with less background, but who can still appreciate the work and the skill involved.
The only Mann novel I have read is Death in Venice, and I am certainly not overly-familiar with the literature of this period, so I don’t have the background to pick up on all the nuances.Â I was simply drawn to the book because I had enjoyed Huelle’s previous work Mercedes Benz.
And I enjoyed this work as well.Â I may not have understood all the literary references, or fully appreciated how Huelle captured the tone and style of Mann and the character of Castorp, but I did enjoy it as an interesting period piece that explores the psychology and sociology of pre-war continental Europe.
For a smattering of quotes from some other reviews that I found interesting click below.