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Joseph and His Brothers: The Stories of Jacob, Young Joseph, Joseph in…

by Thomas Mann

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Joseph and his Brothers (1,2,3,4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9651817,922 (4.13)109
Thomas Mann regarded his monumental retelling of the biblical story of Joseph as his magnum opus. He conceived of the four parts-The Stories of Jacob, Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt, and Joseph the Provider-as a unified narrative, a "mythological novel" of Joseph's fall into slavery and his rise to be lord over Egypt. Deploying lavish, persuasive detail, Mann conjures for us the world of patriarchs and pharaohs, the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, and the universal force of human love in all its beauty, desperation, absurdity, and pain. The result is a brilliant amalgam of humor, emotion, psychological insight, and epic grandeur. Now the award-winning translator John E. Woods gives us a definitive new English version of Joseph and His Brothers that is worthy of Mann's achievement, revealing the novel's exuberant polyphony of ancient and modern voices, a rich music that is by turns elegant, coarse, and sublime.… (more)
  1. 10
    Hearken Unto the Voice by Franz Werfel (Anonymous user)
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» See also 109 mentions

English (14)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
It's long, don't expect to read it fast. It's written with beautiful language and the story, well, is of biblical proportions. I suggest reading the Intro first and following the suggestions made on the order with which to approach this masterpiece. I then suggest reading a short part every day, while perhaps reading something lighter on the side. Probably his best work. ( )
  Lapsus16 | Feb 9, 2022 |
Perfectly... fine, in parts. Did we really need quite so much of it? No. Could I have done without most of the overt symbolism and so on? Yes. Does the structuralist-like analysis of the myths do anything for the book? No. Does it help me to understand the Joseph story in new and fascinating ways; does it have moments of true glory; can you skim huge chunks without missing anything of any importance whatsoever? Yes. ( )
1 vote stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
Overdrawn and over the top with unnecessary details. This "epic" is underwhelming. There are some interesting portions, albeit, but the overall scope is far too high for such a short portion of the bible. My attention lagged and faltered through many parts of the book and I was not generally intrigued by the overall "mystique" of the novel. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
Okay, so it's really long - in fact it's a tome of gigantic proportions - almost 1,500 pages! Granted nothing much happens in the first 200 pages, but at around 300 the story gets to moving along pretty well. Mann likes to get his plotline ducks all in order before he actually moves the story along and this can tend to be tedious at times. Familiar with the story, you must be willing to allow Mann to innundate you with all the background in all its glory. The John E. Woods translation is amazing though I'm not familiar with the earlier one. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
2 thumbs up! ( )
  oel_3 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mann, ThomasAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Woods, John E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Апт, СоломонTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas Mann regarded his monumental retelling of the biblical story of Joseph as his magnum opus. He conceived of the four parts-The Stories of Jacob, Young Joseph, Joseph in Egypt, and Joseph the Provider-as a unified narrative, a "mythological novel" of Joseph's fall into slavery and his rise to be lord over Egypt. Deploying lavish, persuasive detail, Mann conjures for us the world of patriarchs and pharaohs, the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Palestine, and the universal force of human love in all its beauty, desperation, absurdity, and pain. The result is a brilliant amalgam of humor, emotion, psychological insight, and epic grandeur. Now the award-winning translator John E. Woods gives us a definitive new English version of Joseph and His Brothers that is worthy of Mann's achievement, revealing the novel's exuberant polyphony of ancient and modern voices, a rich music that is by turns elegant, coarse, and sublime.

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Average: (4.13)
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3 13
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