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."
Narrator reads rather too self-consciously
This is a good book, but I found the voice distracting. His pauses and emphases seemed off to me - but perhaps it’s because I’d read the book. I know the main character Aushenbach is pretty ostentatious but that doesn’t mean the man reading must be.