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Description

First published in 1900, when Thomas Mann was 25, Buddenbrooks is a minutely imagined chronicle of four generations of a North German mercantile family - a work so true to life that it scandalized the author's former neighbours in his native Lübeck.

As he charts the Buddenbrooks' decline from prosperity to bankruptcy, from moral and psychic soundness to sickly piety, artistic decadence and madness, Mann ushers the reader into a world of rich vitality, pieced together from births and funerals, weddings and divorces, recipes, gossip and earthy humour. It is perhaps the first great family saga of modern literature, and it brought to public notice a writer of world stature who, three decades later, was to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. David Rintoul gives one of his finest performances in this committed and deeply moving reading.

©1993 Alfred A Knopf (P)2016 Ukemi Productions Ltd

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Notations

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Virginia Waldron
  • 30/03/2017

Where Have You Been All My Life, Thomas Mann?

Would you listen to Buddenbrooks again? Why?

I have already listened to it twice as I didn't want it to end. It is just so incredibly well written. Subtle shifts which are significant in the development of the story. The last section is some of the most powerful and passionate writing I have ever read. Thomas Mann is orderly when needed and wildly insightful and inflamed when needed. It is a brilliant book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Buddenbrooks?

The final sections of the book will remain with me forever. I even awoke in the middle of the night thinking about that part. It is a book that made a big impression on my thinking about education and sensitive, young people. Utterly wonderful.

What about David Rintoul’s performance did you like?

He is a perfect narrator for this story. Excellent performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is long but I just devoured it. Not in one sitting but over about a week. Yes I wanted to listen to it all the time as I felt part of it so much more than my own life, as I read it. I had no idea what a consummate writer Thomas Mann is until I stumbled upon this book. I actually feel privileged to have read it. It is such a rich text.

Any additional comments?

Read this book before you die.

9 sur 9 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • W Perry Hall
  • 15/02/2017

Condemnation of Materialistic Decadence


"That all those charms have pass'd away,
I might have watch'd through long decay...."
"And Thou art Dead, as Young and Fair," Lord Byron

Thomas Mann's moving 1901 saga of the Buddenbrooks, a respected, wealthy family of grain merchants, begins in 1835 at the death of the patriarch. The three successive generations suffer a decline in their finances and family ideals as values change and old hierarchies are upset by Germany's rapid industrialization. Two of the siblings, Thomas and Antonie, subordinate their personal happiness to the welfare of the family business. Antonie in particular gives up happiness twice for appearance's sake, each time being ravaged by reverses.

While Mann wrote this novel largely in an objective manner, the story represents a condemnation of the decadence of a materialistic society, as shown through this family. While the Buddenbrooks were naturally honest and good, imbued with love of family, they were also afflicted by a blind loyalty to their own class. They viewed each significant event in their lives, such as births, deaths, marriages, and social decisions, in relation to its effects on the family business. Their refusal to adapt to changing conditions, to act from their moral convictions rather than treating their business as a religion, and to accept those not of their class led to their destruction.

Mann showed an incredible attention to the descriptive details of the period as well as his affinity for leitmotifs such as those derived from his love of the operas of Richard Wagner. For example, blue skin and yellow teeth to represent decay and decadence in the family members.

13 sur 14 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • 23/02/2017

Wonderful listen

A long listen, but I loved it. Sometimes achingly sad. Very poignant how family fortunes can change.

5 sur 5 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ann Richardson
  • 28/04/2017

BUDDENBROOKS

What made the experience of listening to Buddenbrooks the most enjoyable?

I'll begin by saying that the reader, David Rintoul, was excellent, adept at pronunciation of foreign languages and skilful in portraying characters without straining to create female voices that might seem strained or unlikely. His name on the enterprise was a main reason for selecting it.

This is a classic book by a superior author, which was another spur for my choice. I enjoyed the book without being swept away by it; The theories about life that were expounded in the course of the narrative were interesting and sometimes profound, yet the book did not leave me pondering on philosophical offerings or illuminations. It seems a solid story about a German upper-class family in the middle of the 19th century, so historically and sociologically it offered a stimulating picture.

I have small reservations about other things, which is why I gave the story three-stars~~probably I"ll earn penance by not being in utmost admiration of a mighty writer!
However, this is just my personal reaction, for better or worse.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lawrence
  • 22/12/2016

unbelievably talented narrator

This classic novel has been on my bucket list for years because it'slisted in most of the great literature polls, plus the author won the Nobel Prize. But I was blown away by how entertaining this book and the narrator are. I'm an audiobook junky who's listed to over 400 novels, most of them classics and best sellers. I thought I was familiar with the great narrators. Before this novel I hadn't heard of thos narrator. He's damn talented. He's the kind of narrator who devises a distinctive tone for each character, thus eschewing the need to figure out who is talking. I've decided to listen to his other books. I hope he does lots more to include Mann's other classic, The Magic Mountain.

11 sur 13 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 18/12/2016

An Extraordinary Reading of an Extraordinary Novel

Mann creates characters that you have love and sympathy for despite clearly showing all their foibles and limitations, and finally their self-destructive tendencies. It traces the history of four generations of a German bourgeois family in the nineteenth century from their pinnacle of success to its final dissolution. Their family history also mirrors the tremendous cultural, social, political, philosophical and religious changes going on about them. Yet the novel also teems with a richness of detail and humor which keeps the story buoyant in spite of its pessimism. The description of Hanno's Christmas is worth the price of admission alone.

David Rintoul is the ideal narrator for this book. I felt as if I were watching a movie instead of just listening.

Here is hoping that Ukemi and David Rintoul might bring us the audiobook version of The Magic Mountain.

6 sur 7 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 22/01/2018

Good listen

I thought this might be boring but was surprised how interesting it was. Definitely recommend

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06/12/2017

Not an easy listen, but worth it

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read the novel when I was in grad school (loved it) and just rediscovered it here. The reading is incredibly good.This isn't audio wallpaper -- it's the kind of book that demands your attention, but that is because the story, the characters and the details are riveting. And this is a much better translation than the one that I was familiar with. (For example, the unspeakable insult that ended one character's marriage is rendered perfectly here -- and that scene is hilarious as a result.)

What did you like best about this story?

The little details about each character. There were so many people in this story, but none of them, not even the minor ones, are reduced to stereotypes or stock figures.

What about David Rintoul’s performance did you like?

He took his time reading the story, and was able to give each character a distinctive voice without caricaturing any of them.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

If you don't change with the times, the times will change you.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fenna
  • 31/08/2017

A Classic with a Great Narrator

This is a book that's been sitting on my to-read list for a while but when I saw there was an audiobook version I jumped at the chance to listen to it. This is my mother's favorite book from Thomas Mann so I'm glad I finally read it and can talk to her about it.

This is a generational novel where you follow the lives of the Buddenbrook family, a wealthy merchant family of Northern Germany, through several generations. As can be guessed from the title, you watch as the family looses its wealth and status over those generations as well.

The narration for this audiobook is fantastic and the translation is great since I'm sure it can't be easy to note a difference from High German to Platt while translating it and having it be understood in English. Mann's descriptions of characters and their traits are so particular and specific that they really come alive in your mind, they're fantastic. Between Mann's writing and David Rintoul's narration I really grew attached to many of the characters over the novel since you're seeing these characters grow and develop throughout their lives.
This book covers so many things including class and materialism but it does so in a way that still shows you that the Buddenbrooks could be any family. The decline that this family is shown to have is one that happens gradually and though luck and bad choices; it is a decline that can happen to any family even today. You ache by the end of it but, I guess, 'that's life', I suppose.

2 sur 2 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caroline Summer
  • 12/02/2017

Superb novel--beautifully read!

One of the world's great novels: full of deep philosophy, warm comedy, the joys and sorrows of a memorable family. Wonderful characters are portrayed perfectly in this rendition.

5 sur 6 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.