BN.com Gift Guide

Nosferatu: A Novel

Overview

From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888–1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard’s Murnau—through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking—is the conflict between his impossibly ...
See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$16.89
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$19.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $3.84   
  • New (4) from $12.07   
  • Used (5) from $3.84   
Sending request ...

Overview

From this prodigiously talented writer comes a stunningly original fictional life of the German director F. W. Murnau (1888–1931). Murnau ranks as a founding father of the cinema, not least for his legendary horror film, Nosferatu. Here he is revealed as a hermetic genius who turns against himself, becoming in a sense his own vampire. What shadows Jim Shepard’s Murnau—through the airfields of the Great War to Berlin in the twenties and to the virtual invention of filmmaking—is the conflict between his impossibly high ideals and his heartbreaking memories of love betrayed and love lost. From provincial Germany through Hollywood in its early days to the South Seas, Nosferatu charts a life at once artistic, intellectual, and deeply human. Ron Hansen provides an introduction to this Bison Books edition.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Small Spiral Notebook
"Jim Shepard wrote a fictional biography of F. W. Murnau, a strange breed of man who made compelling art from life and whose life, it turns out, makes compelling art."—Small Spiral Notebook
Entertainment Weekly
"Mordantly funny and moving."—Entertainment Weekly
New York Times Book Review
"In Nosferatu, F. W. Murnau becomes his own subject—one of the undead, hollowed out and sucked dry by the love he has betrayed. The life, again, informs, deforms, and becomes the work."—New York Times Book Review
Entertainment Weekly
Mordantly funny and moving...Shepard captures the cut-and-paste excitement of early filmmaking, and he keeps Murnau's heart, broken and sad, quietly beating in our imagination.
Chicago Tribune
Haunting...Shepard's finest novel. It appears just over a century after Dracula, and kjproves that the kingdom Stoker charted still has much of value to offer the imagination.
Washington Post
Brilliant...With the publication of this novel, there are now two splendid works of art called Nosferatu.
Utne Reader
Though Murnau's coming out is handled with deft lyricism, this is no mere novel of gay awakening. And though Murnau has to face both casual and calculated homophobia, the real source of his pain lies deeper--in the mystery of what we can and cannot know about ourselves.
Leslie Epstein
Jim Shepard's unusual new novel is an imaginative reconstruction of the life and work of F.W. Murnau, the greatest of all German film directors and one of the two or three real masters of the silent screen. -- Leslie Epstein, New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
The prolific and versatile Shepard (Batting Against Castro, 1996, etc.) offers in his intermittently enthralling fifth novel an empathetic fictionalized biography of the great German silent-film director F. W. Murnau (18881931). Born Friedrich Wilhelm Plumpe to a deeply bourgeois Westphalian family, Shepard's protagonist is first seen, in 1907, as a reluctant student of philology at Charolottenburg, where he meets the invincible and sophisticated Hans Ehrenbaum-Degele, a budding poet who will become Wilhelm's schoolmate, soulmate, and lover—and whose aestheticism will encourage the self-created "Murnau" (the name of a Bavarian resort the two visit) to pursue his interest in the theater. These early pages are superb: Shepard has so thoroughly mastered the idiom and feel of the period that we seem to be inside a young Thomas Mann novel. The narrative then proceeds both through flashback (showing Wilhelm's unhappy boyhood) and straight chronology, moving forward first to Murnau's apprenticeship at Max Reinhardt's theater school in Berlin, his disturbing intimacy with such decadent eminences as poet Else Lasker-Schuller and homosexual film actor Conrad Veidt. There are splendid accounts of Murnau's wartime service as a fighter pilot (during which he "came to understand aviation as a new way of seeing") and later of the preparations for and filming of his vampire movie Nosferatu (a memorable vision of "The natural world operating under the shadow of the supernatural." But, alas, the story's second half unconvincingly telescopes the remainder of Murnau's (admittedly brief) career and life: the filming of Der Letzte Mann, distinguished by its use of a moving camera devised by hisbrilliant cinematographer Karl Freund; his star-crossed Tahitian collaboration (on Tabu) with documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty; and his death following an auto accident. This should have been a terrific novel—and a longer one. Its images simply flicker by so quickly that its power to involve and move is frustratingly dissipated.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803293465
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 1,446,510
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Shepard is the author of six novels and two short-story collections, including most recently Love and Hydrogen: New and Selected Stories and Project X. He teaches at Williams College and in the Warren Wilson MFA program. Ron Hansen is the author of numerous books, including A Stay against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction and Atticus, a National Book Award finalist. He teaches writing and literature at Santa Clara University.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)