The Sorrows of Young Werther

  • by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Narrated by Don Hagen
  • 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Sorrows of Young Werther is a loosely based autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It was first published in 1774 and is one of the most famous - and infamous - works in the history of literature.
Werther, a sensitive young man, falls in love with Lotte, a sweet-natured girl he meets while visitng an idyllic German village. Although Lotte is betrothed to Albert, Werther���s infatuation with her torments him to the point of despair and suicide.
The book, consisting almost entirely of letters written by Werther to his friend Wilhelm, was an immediate success and developed a large cult following, resulting in copycat suicides. Based on Goethe’s unrequited love for Charlotte Buff, it is the first great “confessional” novel and turned Goethe into one of the first international literary celebrities.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

old favorite

this is one of my all time favorite books, and i have hoped audibles would dig up an old recording somewhere. and so they have. i would have wished for a british reader instead of the man who did read it, because i love the old romantics best when read with a british accent. but, this reader did well, his pronunciation was always good, and his tempo was right. he has a bit of a massachusetts accent which was sometimes a bit strange coming from a book written by Goethe.

but what can you do ? i enjoyed it and will keep it on my ipod to listen to at night or in other quiet times.

the book itself is a marvel, an intense, brief flame of passion and sorrow. but unlike other books that try to do the same, this book feels wonderfully real, the character of Werther is well able to describe his malady in believable words.

there is one passage, a transitional passage that is not as smooth in the audio as in the book. but about the time you notice, it is winding back into the letter format.

there is also a lengthy poetic recitation, and i confess that i skip over it in the book, but in the audio version it was quite nice to listen to and added a new dimension, as Goethe probably hoped.

i guess i am giving it four stars because the reader was not british. this book deserves an actor of shakespearian quality. it is not expensive though, and i am glad to have it at last to listen to.
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- Heimo

Literature for aching hearts and strong spirits

This elegantly written story can be conforting for those with an aching heart or augment the grievances for people in such situation. Nevertheless, it is interesting to know Goethe's thoughts and share his insights on the theme of love and devotion.
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- Thiago

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-29-2010
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC