Regular price: $15.96

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.

In the decaying city, besieged by an unnamed epidemic, he becomes obsessed with an exquisite Polish boy, Tadzio. "It is a story of the voluptuousness of doom," Mann wrote. "But the problem I had especially in mind was that of the artist's dignity."

©2004 Michael Henry Heim (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    80
  • 4 Stars
    46
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • William
  • North Bay, Ontario, Canada
  • 10-21-06

For the Love of Language

"Death" in Venice" can be enjoyed on several levels. I continue to enjoy it, time and time again, if only for the sheer beauty of Mann's writing. He is the Mozart of the written word; there are no unnecessary or discordant notes. This new translation is so superb as to be beyond criticism. We simply need more like it.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Brilliant gem

This long short story is one of the greatest ever written. While not really modernist in the sense of Woolf, Faulkner, etc, I found myself in a 'symbolic' state of dreamy, beautiful imagery & thought the whole way. This is a journey near the end of a basically proper classic intellectual European life that turns into a quest for the nectar of the gods at a distance. Lolita is clearly prefigured here. You will think of Durrell and Nabokov and so many others who must follow and the myths and so many who are encompassed. I felt like Death in Venice was one of those works that will stay in my mind the rest of my life.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A masterpiece from Thomas Mann

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

This is a great way to read Thomas Mann, who can be long and wordy.

What did you like best about this story?

The descent into lust, madness, obsession and degradation is one of literature's most dramatic scenes. The master artist Aschenbach, restrained, honored, and successful debases himself in a pursuit of beauty. That it is forbidden love makes the debasement more horrifying and sickening. There is always a combination of gorgeousness with absolute ugliness and horror.

What about Simon Callow’s performance did you like?

This is a restrained, refined performance.

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

The end is one of those passagese in literature that you read and re-read. Though it's inevitable, it still is shocking.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 08-04-12

I know I'm not being fair but

maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I know this is one of the giants of modern literature, the prose is brilliant, the exposition is brilliant, the one and only real character is brilliantly detailed and nuanced, but the subject just didn't resonate with me. OK, so it's the biggest most important subject in the world. Yes, I agree with that. It is also, within the boundaries of this book, a very tiny exploration of a specific perspective on that subject. Maybe audio just isn't the right medium for a first trip through this book. It's the kind of book that requires you to just stop and savor each thing the author says.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Death in Venice

A gorgeous reading of a great masterpiece. Couldn't be better.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Simon Callow is terrific. Loved the translation.

This translation of the book is an improvement over the one most people have read. Simon Callow’s narration is a masterful performance. I loved it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • T Cyr
  • Missoula, MT United States
  • 09-11-17

Best Translation, Poorly Read!

First of all Michael Cunningham's introduction on the process of writing and translations is brilliant, worth the price of admission on this audio book. This is a story I have been fascinated with for many decades and tend to read every so many years, always searching for translations that get to the core of it's poetic beauty. This may be one of the best I have read/heard as most translations are often a bit stilted, missing the emotional context sacrificed for a more literal meaning. This one seems more accessible to a modern audience. Did not like Simon Callow's reading of it. Seemed like he was racing through it. Too, too fast to grasp the beautifully textured imagery of the words. I couldn't grasp or linger in it's dense poetry as he had already moved on by the time I could conjure in my minds eye. For goodness sake it's a short story, could slow it down a bit to savor and linger in it's haunting imagery.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Provocative Prose

This incredible novellette was written as if the words were directly extracted from Aschenbach's mind....amazing writing. The story told elegantly but with incredible power and passion.....amazing storytelling. The forward equally as fascinating....

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Headline

Except for the introduction, I enjoyed the narration. Of course the story is fascinating. I want to go back to Venice.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • KD
  • Lansing, MI United States
  • 02-25-16

Creepy literature

I listened to this audiobook because Death in Venice was listed in classic lit of the 20th century. It was beautifully written but CREEPY! The entire story is the internal angst of a pedophile stalking a young adolescent boy. Publish this now and the FBI will be watching your computer downloads. It was super disturbing.

The narrator was excellent- great attention to nuance, emotion, etc. An example of why audiobooks are a great way to absorb classic lit.

Just beware the subject matter- or you'll get halfway into this book and feel like I did: "Wait is this guy really getting obsessed with a 12 yr old boy? Oh wow this is happening... Oh this is disturbing..."