Tremendous collection of short stories written over virtually a lifetime. Varied in value -- substance -- quality and length, some of them could be classified as novelettes. Settings European, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, for the most part. At first some of the stories seem ""dated"" -- until one realizes that in thirty years' span it is amazing they are actually so undated. Personally, I feel that Mann is at his best and most brilliant in shorter forms, the essay type of writing, and brief, vivid characterizations and stories. A book that those interested in Mann and the development of the short story in European literature will assuredly want to own.