3.47 (106 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book is 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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 124 x 170 x 22mm | 240.4g
  • Profile Books Ltd
  • Serpent's Tail
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1852429453
  • 9781852429454
  • 568,525

Review quote

"'An exhilirating, liberating, brief and delightful novel with a story at every turning' New Statesman 'Quirky, thoughtful and often poetic, it opens a subjective and fascinating window on to the recent past' The Times 'Cultish, electrifying memoir' Independent on Sunday 'Huelle writes in such an engaging, chatty style that you hardly notice the fraught circumstances underlying every tale' Guardian 'Playful, bittersweet, juggling irony with regret' Independent"show more

About Pawel Huelle

Pawel Huelle (born 1957) is a novelist, playwright and newspaper columnist who has lived most of his life in Gdansk, which often features as the setting for his work. After graduating in Polish studies from Gdansk University in the early 1980s he worked as a press officer for the Solidarity trade union. He was also a university lecturer in philosophy and later head of Gdansk's local television channel before becoming a fulltime writer. His acclaimed first novel Who Was David Weiser? was translated into 17 more

Rating details

106 ratings
3.47 out of 5 stars
5 11% (12)
4 38% (40)
3 39% (41)
2 11% (12)
1 1% (1)
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