First published in 1900, when Thomas Mann was 25, Buddenbrooks is a minutely imagined chronicle of four generations of a North German mercantile family - a work so true to life that it scandalized the author's former neighbours in his native Lübeck.
As he charts the Buddenbrooks' decline from prosperity to bankruptcy, from moral and psychic soundness to sickly piety, artistic decadence and madness, Mann ushers the reader into a world of rich vitality, pieced together from births and funerals, weddings and divorces, recipes, gossip and earthy humour. It is perhaps the first great family saga of modern literature, and it brought to public notice a writer of world stature who, three decades later, was to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. David Rintoul gives one of his finest performances in this committed and deeply moving reading.
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- Hugh M. Clarke
It seems superfluous to say what a wonderful story this is or how convincing the characters are when it is such a well known masterpiece. Ultimately what matters most for the listener to a great Audible classic like this is the quality of the narrator's performance. David Rintoul makes this an unforgettable experience. His perfectly paced and insightful narration drives a truly gripping story all the way to its inevitable and tragic denouement while his brilliant portrayals of Thomas, Antonie, Christian, and Hanno, Bendix Grünlich, Alois Permaneder, and Hugo Weinschenk bring the main characters vividly to life.