BOOK REVIEW: Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (Review by John Purcell)

by |October 14, 2015

Death in VeniceI remember the strangeness of my first encounter with Death in Venice. I had taken it off the shelf because it was a very slim volume. I was feeling somewhat fatigued, intellectually, and wanted something I could swallow whole in an afternoon.

Something light and diverting. Death in Venice was the wrong choice entirely. Death in Venice only looks like a slim volume, but in reality it is as vast as the whole history of western culture. It is an extraordinary piece of writing to which I return from time to time to make sure I was not mistaken in my first impressions.

Strange, decadent, beautiful, uncomfortable and compelling, Death in Venice will shock some modern readers with its subject matter, but leave others one or two steps closer to an understanding of art, beauty, mortality and desire.

Grab your copy of Death in Venice here!

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Death in Venice

Thomas Mann

Death in VeniceDeath in Venice is a story of obsession.

Gustave von Aschenbach is a successful but ageing writer who travels to Venice for a holiday. One day, at dinner, Aschenbach notices an exceptionally beautiful young boy who is staying with his family in the same hotel.

Soon his days begin to revolve around seeing this boy and he is too distracted to pay attention to the ominous rumours that have begun to circulate about disease spreading through the city.

Grab your copy of Death in Venice here!

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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.


  • October 14, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    No air con

    Sent from my iPad


  • October 14, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I’ve never read the book but I saw the film years ago. I went with a more knowledgeable friend. I’d never even heard of Thomas Mann, let alone the book and found the film surprising and gripping. Every now and then bits of it come back to me.

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