What are the best classic German books?

asked by Anonymous
327 contributors
19 solutions
  1. 39

    #1The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales

    The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales

    The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales is a compilation of folk tales from the Brothers Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm, translated from the original German by Margaret Hunt. It includes tales such as Rapunzel, The Goose Girl, and Rumpelstiltskin.

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    Jaime Valdez
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Highly recommended! 4.5 stars on over a thousand reviews!"
  2. 35

    #2The Metamorphosis

    The Metamorphosis
    Gregor Samsa was a regular traveling salesman who one night transformed into a cockroach-looking animal. As his whole family despises him, this book uses Samsa's transformation to talk about human feeling of acceptance and guiltiness, as his new condition brought poverty to his family. 



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    Harry Ramirez
    Written on April 22, 2018
    " The Metamorphosis was very different and really helped me to open parts of my mind I did not know existed. This was an awesome read, i recommend to anyone. "
  3. 33

    #3Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf
    Steppenwolf is a novel by Hermann Hesse originally published in Germany in 1927. It is a mix of autobiography and psychoanalysis, as well as a critical view of the intellectual hypocrisy of the period.
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    Lauren Morrison
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "Hesse's original classic is one that can change your life, and help you learn to be a more introspective and self-critical person. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't read it yet. Truly one of Western literature's greatest philosophical narratives."
  1. 32

    #4The Sorrows of Young Werther

    The Sorrows of Young Werther

    The Sorrows of Young Werther is a classic novel written by the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It tells the story of an artist named Werther as he laments the marriage of the woman he loves to another man.

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    John Davis
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is a very interesting German book about an artist. It explains his issues with a woman who marries another man."
  2. 31

    #5Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra

    The most accessible and influential work of Nietzsche, the most influencer philosopher of the 19th and 20th century. In this book, Nietzsche explains the basis of provocative and utterance 'God is dead'.

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    Rosario Trejo
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a philosophical classic. It is controversial and misunderstood. The reader should take the time to read the original source and understand what Nietzsche meant."
  3. 27

    #6Narcissus and Goldmund

    Narcissus and Goldmund

    Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse is a historical and philosophical fiction novel published in 1930. This book tells the story of Goldmund's search for the 'meaning of life' and his friendship with a brilliant teacher - Narcissus.

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    Mark Foster
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Coming eight years after Siddartha, there are striking similarities between the two works: a young man intent on following a spiritual path embarks instead on a life of hedonism. Despite the highly charged attraction between Brother Narcissus and his student Goldmund, the former leads an austere life, while the latter’s life is one of rampant sexuality. As with most of Hesse, this is a tale of self-discovery. Brother Narcissus eventually takes his vows and becomes abbot of the cloister. Goldmund is revealed to be a skilled artist, but his talent is overwhelmed by his need to explore the ways of the flesh. In fact, he beds so many women, one could reasonably envision this as an outline for a modern porn movie. The picaresque nature of the novel is balanced by chapters of philosophical discussion, occurring, as with Siddartha, as the two men meet again late in life. Hesse gives us two memorable characters. As with Demian, the prose is dense. Myself, I prefer the spare prose style of Siddartha. "
  4. 27

    #7Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
    Jean-Baptiste Grenouille was abandoned as a child to the dirty streets of Paris, where he discovered he had a special talent: a unique sense of smell. Able to create the most exquisite fragrances, there is only one smell he hasn't been able to capture: the scent of a virgin.




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    Joshua Hill
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "Some would not consider this a classic. Classic status is often relative. I personally think it is one and highly recommend this title to those who want to read something that helps solidify the actual German experience."
  5. 25

    #8The Magic Mountain

    The Magic Mountain

    The Magic Mountain is a satirical novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author, Thomas Mann. Set before World War I, it tells the story of Hans Castorp, who goes to a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps and stays for seven years.

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    Joseph Perry
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "The Magic Mountain is a satirical novel by Thomas Mann. Set before World War I, it tells the story of Hans Castorp, who goes to a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps and stays for seven years. Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, a community devoted exclusively to sickness, as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. "
  6. 23

    #9The Reader

    The Reader
    An exceptional novel by Bernhard Schlink about betrayal, guilt and the memory of the Holocaust. This is the story of the adolescent Michael Berg, rescued by Hanna. Both embark on a clandestine affair leading Michel in euphoric and confused times.

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    Carol Scott
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "Interesting book I picked up in the local bookstore. Has some erotica that I was surprised about. It is set against the Holocaust as a back drop. This makes it a definite German book. A lot going on in the book it covers many emotions. Hard to get through but still a good read."
  7. 21

    #10All Quiet on the Western Front

    All Quiet on the Western Front
    All Quiet on the Western Front is a book by Erich Maria Remarque that tells the story of Paul Baumer, a soldier in the German army during World War I. The books was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
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    Samuel Kelley
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "All Quiet on the Western Front is among the best classic German books. a book by Erich Maria Remarque that tells the story of Paul Baumer, a soldier in the German army during World War I. The books was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931."
  8. 15

    #11The Glass Bead Game

    The Glass Bead Game

    The Glass Bead Game: Magister Ludi is a dramatic modern novel written by award-winning author Hermann Hesse. It won the 1946 Nobel Prize for Literature. It is set in the 23rd century and is about a utopic society.

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  9. 0

    #12Galileo

    Galileo
    Galileo is a German biography book written by Bertolt Brecht. This dramatic science non-fiction book is first published in 1943 and reproduced by Grove Press. 
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    Stephen Stone
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "When I think of classics, my mind automatically goes to literary fiction. I'm not sure why, and I know that the genre isn't constrained to this, but that's the automatic association. "Galileo", while a good book, is a German biography, which doesn't necessarily fit with the prototypical "classic" genre. Unfortunately I can't rate it more highly, because I really want to, but I don't feel that it is fair to the true classics queuing ahead of it."
  10. 0

    #13Rituals

    Rituals

    Rituals is a book by Cees Nooteboom that tells the story of Inni who knew life was a chaotic whirlwind. Arnold and Philip at the other side sees the world differently, they will all meet and relieve each other's emptiness.

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    Heather Riley
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This is a interesting story about three characters who lead very different lives. Chaotic and disfunctional at times, but still worth reading. I really enjoyed how things turned out in the end."
  11. 0

    #14Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver

    Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver

    Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver is a children's fantasy fiction book written by Michael Ende, illustrated by Maurice Dodd, and translated by Anthea Bell. This was first published in 1960.

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    Olivia May
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "A train made into a boat! A kidnapped princess. Adventure and more adventure. Will the princess be saved? You will have to let your kids read to find out. I am not giving it away. they will be glued to this book and not want to put it down."
  12. 0

    #15Siegfried: A Black Idyll

    Siegfried: A Black Idyll

    Siegfried: A Black Idyll is a book by Harry Muslisch that tells the story of Rudolf Herter. He is a famous author who will travel and be confronted by different ideas of people. He will then try to write a book about it. 

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    Deborah Watson
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Siegfried: A Black Idyll, is definitely one of the best classic German books written. This book makes readers have deep, complex emotions as the life of Hitler is told and narrated, included with many German references. An interesting story, showing the true colors of Hitler's evil. The story is great because it shows many possibilities that could have lead to the fate of our world. "
  13. 0

    #16Joe Speedboot

    Joe Speedboot

    Joe Speedboot is a book Tommy Wierenga that tells the story of a teenager who just woke up from a coma. He will then tell his friends about his bizarre dreams while he was unconscious. 

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  14. 0

    #17The Twins

    The Twins

    The Twins is a German book written by Tessa De Loo that tells the story of twin siblings who was separated while they are still young. They will cross paths after two decades and will be shocked to see each other. 

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    Gloria Johnston
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This is a fairly good read. It gives introspection about history and the world and its culture. Main characters in the book are twins that were separated really young, raised differently, and accidentally bumped into each other later. There are good view points. If you like to know some back drop cultural history, give it a try."
  15. 0

    #18The Future of an Illusion

    The Future of an Illusion

    The Future of an Illusion is a non-fiction book written by Sigmund Freud wherein he discusses religion in a psychoanalytical way since he believes religion and science were mortal enemies. 

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    James Ryan
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is not good as a solution, I really would not consider the solution to match german books "
  16. 0

    #19The Discovery of Heaven

    The Discovery of Heaven

    The Discovery of Heaven is a book by Harry Mulisch that tells the story of Max and Onno. They are born the same day and they will meet unexpectedly. A connection between them will spark and things will escalate.

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    Frances Long
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "absolutely loved this"

Summary

Best What are the best classic German books
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Complete Grimm's Fairy TalesBooks 39 Paid
2The MetamorphosisBooks 35 Paid
3SteppenwolfBooks 33 Paid
4The Sorrows of Young WertherBooks 32 Paid
5Thus Spoke ZarathustraBooks 31 Paid
6Narcissus and GoldmundBooks 27 Paid
7Perfume: The Story of a MurdererBooks 27 Paid
8The Magic MountainBooks 25 Paid
9The ReaderBooks 23 Paid
10All Quiet on the Western FrontBooks 21 Paid
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