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Summary

The Sorrows of Young Werther is a loosely based autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first published in 1774 and is one of the most famous - and infamous - works in the history of literature.

Werther, a sensitive young man, falls in love with Lotte, a sweet-natured girl he meets while visitng an idyllic German village. Although Lotte is betrothed to Albert, Werther���s infatuation with her torments him to the point of despair and suicide.

The book, consisting almost entirely of letters written by Werther to his friend Wilhelm, was an immediate success and developed a large cult following, resulting in copycat suicides. Based on Goethe’s unrequited love for Charlotte Buff, it is the first great “confessional” novel and turned Goethe into one of the first international literary celebrities.

Public Domain (P)2010 Gildan Media Corp

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heimo
  • 09-02-10

old favorite

this is one of my all time favorite books, and i have hoped audibles would dig up an old recording somewhere. and so they have. i would have wished for a british reader instead of the man who did read it, because i love the old romantics best when read with a british accent. but, this reader did well, his pronunciation was always good, and his tempo was right. he has a bit of a massachusetts accent which was sometimes a bit strange coming from a book written by Goethe.

but what can you do ? i enjoyed it and will keep it on my ipod to listen to at night or in other quiet times.

the book itself is a marvel, an intense, brief flame of passion and sorrow. but unlike other books that try to do the same, this book feels wonderfully real, the character of Werther is well able to describe his malady in believable words.

there is one passage, a transitional passage that is not as smooth in the audio as in the book. but about the time you notice, it is winding back into the letter format.

there is also a lengthy poetic recitation, and i confess that i skip over it in the book, but in the audio version it was quite nice to listen to and added a new dimension, as Goethe probably hoped.

i guess i am giving it four stars because the reader was not british. this book deserves an actor of shakespearian quality. it is not expensive though, and i am glad to have it at last to listen to.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas
  • 12-04-10

Goethe Beautifully Read

So little Goethe is available in audio form. This epistolary novel shows Goethe in his early Sturm und Drang period at his most romantic. The reader does a wonderful job conveying the barely controlled passionate longing that runs through the novel. I would love to hear a similarly beautiful reading of Goethe's Faust.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Erebus
  • 02-07-17

Adolescent sentiment.

Morbid adolescent brooding. While the language was engaging, the title character inspired little sympathy from me. Quotes from a Celtic myth of dubious origin took up too much of the last part of the novel. What made this novel a tale of passion and longing plays out to my modern eyes as the squalling of a teen pop song. (SPOILER). The fatal end of Werther seems like the consummation of vows of eternal love from a man who does not understand love. An intriguing study of an asinine character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Thiago
  • 01-08-10

Literature for aching hearts and strong spirits

This elegantly written story can be conforting for those with an aching heart or augment the grievances for people in such situation. Nevertheless, it is interesting to know Goethe's thoughts and share his insights on the theme of love and devotion.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maggie Hess
  • 28-01-18

Deliciously Meancholy

If it suits you to listen to heartbreak, you should read this. I have heard others who did not enjoy it, but I found it interesting and historical.

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  • daniel
  • 23-08-12

Great Story

Would you consider the audio edition of The Sorrows of Young Werther to be better than the print version?

I dont know, I only know the audio version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sorrows of Young Werther?

In the begininng at the dance party.

What about Don Hagen’s performance did you like?

It was good. I liked it

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. just made me think of similar feelings in me.

Any additional comments?

No