'The Magic Mountain' is unlike any book I have ever read. It's a true German classic, taking the size of the works of famous Russian writers such as Tolstoj and Gontsarov. It's massive and endless, and it's somewhere within this extraordinary variety of subjects and descriptions that we have to look for its great value and genious.
The setting, a lung sanatorium situated in the German mountains, is one of the most interesting ones I have encountered yet. Thomas Mann really makes the place come alive, presenting a great variety of characters and scenery. It's hard to say what this book is about. It's about Hans Castorp, a German student who visits his ill cousin Joachim Ziemßen. It's about the intellectual struggel between humanist Settembrini and dark revolutionary Leo Naphta.
That's really all I can say about this book. It's a mystifying experience. An incredibly complex novel that drove me to the edge of my good will (there are parts that make you want to give up on the book) but in the end, I'm really glad I finished this book. A book in its own league.