It was as though, by posing dutifully as a most respectable writer and a man of probity, he had earned the right to explore areas of experience that can make readers uncomfortable even today. The power of the story comes from Mann confronting his own reticence, writing fiction whose frankness belonged to the world of his elder children as they did what they pleased in the chaotic Germany of the early 1920s. In this story, he became their contemporary.
[Searls'] excellent translation of Mann’s New Selected Stories endeavors to accentuate an unexpected side of the German author ... It is unforgettable, and certainly belies any idea of the writer as a 'high-culture obelisk.'
Searls emphasizes aspects of Mann's life and work that have not been well aired outside of the scholarly literature ... Searls takes pains to bring Mann’s decades-old prose to life without anachronism or false breeziness ... A well-chosen, confidently translated gathering of stories that casts new light on its author.