The Decline of A Family

Book - 1993
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Random House, Inc.


Buddenbrooks, first published in Germany in 1901, when Mann was only twenty-six, has become a classic of modern literature.


It is the story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany facing the advent of modernity; in an uncertain new world, the family’s bonds and traditions begin to disintegrate. As Mann charts the Buddenbrooks’ decline from prosperity to bankruptcy, from moral and psychic soundness to sickly piety, artistic decadence, and madness, he ushers the reader into a world of stunning vitality, pieced together from births and funerals, weddings and divorces, recipes, gossip, and earthy humor.


In its immensity of scope, richness of detail, and fullness of humanity, buddenbrooks surpasses all other modern family chronicles. With remarkable fidelity to the original German text, this superb translation emphasizes the magnificent scale of Mann’s achievement in this riveting, tragic novel.  With an introduction by T. J. Reed, and translated  by John E. Woods.

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Baker & Taylor
The story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany captures the triumphs and tragedies, successes and failures, relationships, loves, and ordinary events of everyday middle-class life

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, ©1993, ©1901
ISBN: 9780679417378
Branch Call Number: FICTION MANN
Characteristics: xxxvii, 733 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Woods, John E. (John Edwin)
Alternative Title: Buddenbrooks


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Jun 09, 2018

What I really enjoy about this book is the descriptive prose. The author goes to great lengths to describe all the minute details of every room and characters' attire. It was a bit jarring at first to see so much of the first chapter devoted to descriptions instead of dialog, thoughts, or action but I quickly got used to it and loved how it seemed to sharpen the spirit of the book and make everything feel much more vivid.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

A novel rich in detail and scenery about the lives of a 19th Century German family. Recommended for fans of family sagas.

May 31, 2013

a really good book descibing the live, morals and idiologies of higher middle class families in the late 1800's. goes sometimes into too drawn out detaield descriptions. once one gets past those one really gets a very insightful look as to what life in north-eastern germany was like in that time period. it really gets into peoples heads. anyone interested in history is sure to like this, it does take some patience to get past all the too detailed descriptions though. being german and having read this book at a young age in german i can probably relate more to it than the average american reader. however anyone with an open mind and given to histsory will be sure to enjoy this very realistic novel.

alleycat Mar 19, 2008

I believe this was Mann's first novel ... and what a family saga it is! I read this so long ago and I still have not forgotten what a terrific piece of writing it is, though I read the superior translation of John E. Woods. The story follows the lives and deaths of each member of the declining Buddenbrook family.


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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

Death was a blessing, so great, so deep that we can fathom it only at those moments, like this one now, when we are reprieved from it. It was the return home from long, unspeakably painful wanderings, the correction of a great error, the loosening of tormenting chains, the removal of barriers---it set a horrible accident to rights again.


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