Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Translated Michael Hulse
Penguin, 1989
Originally published 1774
134 pages
3/5 stars

Source: Bought for class

Summary: A young man kills himself after being disappointed in love.

Thoughts: I thought this was so boring.  I kept falling asleep while I was reading it.  The most interesting part was the introduction which explained how part one of the book is based on a real-life experience for Goethe and part two is based on a case where a man killed himself for love.

I think I struggled against his ideal of female perfection, which includes a woman who is acting like a mother to her siblings after the death of their mother (reminded me of Bleak House) and just sounds really boring.  The language was a bit too flowery and I didn't sympathize with Werther falling for a woman who clearly states that she is already involved with another man.

Overall: A short classic that you could read fairly quickly but not my taste at all!

Cover: This isn't my cover as I have an earlier Penguin edition but it fits.

1 comment:

  1. I have been trying to get myself to read this classic for years, but I just can't seem to...want to.:) Good, honest review! My sister, however, thinks it's a great book. Not for the story, but for essay-writing. It got her an A+, so I'm thinking she's a little biased.:)

    P.S. I tagged you! Check out the tag on my blog.


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