Effi Briest

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F. Ungar Publishing Company, 1966 - Fiction - 235 pages
7 Reviews
In 1919 Thomas Mann hailed Effi Briest (1895) as one of "the six most significant novels ever written." Set in Bismarck's Germany, Fontane's luminous tale of a socially suitable but emotionally disastrous match between the enchanting seventeen-year-old Effi and an austere, workaholic civil servant twice her age, is at once touching and unsettling. Fontane's taut, ironic narrative depicts a world where sexuality and the enjoyment of life are stifled by narrow-mindedness and circumstance. Considered by many to be the pinnacle of the nineteenth-century German novel, Effi Briest is a tale of adultery that ranks with Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina and brilliantly demonstrates the truth of the author's comment and "women's stories are generally far more interesting."

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User Review  - eadieburke - LibraryThing

Although this was a sad story, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters were well developed and the plot was such that it held your interest to the very end. The novel was also an excellent look at the ... Read full review

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User Review  - Kristelh - LibraryThing

This is the story of young girl, really still playing with girlfriends, who is married off to an old man. In fact the fellow used to date the girls mother. The young girl is full of life and loves to ... Read full review

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About the author (1966)

Fontane's fictional studies of nineteenth-century Berlin society, written in his late maturity, secured him a firm place in literature as a master of the German realist novel; his declared aim was to show "the undistorted reflection of the life we lead." "He introduced his people in spirited conversations at picnics and banquets, and developed a broad and yet intimate perspective of background conditions; he was less interested in plots, and often would make a point by silence" (Ernst Rose). Effi Briest (1895), his masterpiece, is a revealing portrait of an individual victimized by outmoded standards. Fontane, on whom Sir Walter Scott had made a deep impression, traveled to England as a journalist and wrote two books based on his experiences: A Summer in London (1854) and Across the Tweed (1860). He also wrote historical novels, poetry, and dramatic criticism.

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