Fantastic Night Book Summary and Characters, Stefan Zweig


What is the summary of the book Fantastic Night written by Stefan Zweig? Information about the summary, characters of Fantastic Night.

fantastic night

Fantastic Night

“Fantastic Night” is a book by Stefan Zweig, an Austrian writer who is known for his psychological and philosophical works. The book is a collection of short stories that explore the themes of love, relationships, and the human psyche.

One of the most prominent themes in the book is the idea of the fantastic, or the supernatural. Many of the stories in the book feature elements of the fantastic, such as ghosts, magical powers, and unexplained events. These elements serve to heighten the emotional impact of the stories and to explore the depths of the human psyche.

Another key theme in the book is the idea of passion and desire. The stories in the book often revolve around intense relationships between individuals, exploring the complexity of human emotions and the often-destructive nature of intense passion.


The book also explores the theme of power and powerlessness. Many of the stories feature characters who are struggling to exert their will in the face of external forces, such as societal expectations or the machinations of fate. These characters are often forced to confront the limits of their power and to come to terms with the reality of their situation.

Overall, “Fantastic Night” is a deeply psychological and philosophical work that explores the complexity of the human experience. Through its exploration of the themes of the fantastic, passion, and power, the book provides a powerful meditation on the nature of human existence and the struggles that we all face in our lives.

Fantastic Night Story Summary

“Fantastic Night” by Stefan Zweig is a captivating and suspenseful short story that explores the blurred boundaries between reality and fantasy. The story follows the protagonist, a successful lawyer named Andreas, as he embarks on a wild and surreal adventure that takes him to the edges of his own sanity.

The story begins with Andreas and his wife, on their way to a dinner party hosted by one of Andreas’s wealthy clients. As they travel through the streets of Vienna, Andreas receives a mysterious note from an unknown woman, inviting him to a secret meeting later that night. Intrigued and curious, Andreas follows the instructions in the note and finds himself at a secluded villa on the outskirts of the city.

There, he meets a beautiful and enigmatic woman named Lani, who leads him into a lavish and extravagant party attended by a group of wealthy and eccentric guests. The party is unlike anything Andreas has ever experienced before, and he is quickly drawn into the surreal and magical atmosphere of the evening. He drinks and dances with abandon, and even participates in a bizarre game of Russian roulette with the other guests.

However, as the night wears on, Andreas begins to realize that something is not quite right. The guests at the party seem to be living in a world of their own, detached from the reality of the outside world. And Lani, the woman who brought him to the party, becomes increasingly controlling and manipulative, drawing him deeper and deeper into her web.

As the night draws to a close and the party comes to an end, Andreas realizes that he has been caught up in a dangerous and sinister plot. He tries to leave, but finds that he is unable to escape the villa, which has been transformed into a labyrinthine maze. In a state of panic, Andreas fights his way through the maze, pursued by Lani and her accomplices, until he finally manages to escape and make his way back to the safety of his home.


The next day, Andreas is left wondering whether the events of the previous night were real or merely a hallucination brought on by the excesses of the party. He is haunted by the memory of Lani and the surreal world of the villa, and begins to question his own sanity and the nature of reality itself.

“Fantastic Night” is a psychological thriller that delves deep into the psyche of its protagonist and explores the limits of the human mind. Zweig’s vivid and evocative prose creates a dreamlike and surreal atmosphere that draws the reader into the same hallucinatory world that Andreas experiences. The story’s ambiguous ending leaves the reader questioning the truth of what they have just read and invites them to explore the boundaries of their own perceptions and reality. Overall, “Fantastic Night” is a captivating and thought-provoking story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.


“Fantastic Night” by Stefan Zweig features several characters, including:

  1. Andreas: The protagonist of the story, a wealthy and successful lawyer who becomes caught up in a surreal and dangerous adventure.
  2. Lani: A mysterious and alluring woman who invites Andreas to a clandestine meeting and leads him into a world of luxury and excess.
  3. The Guests: A group of wealthy and eccentric individuals who attend the party at the villa, including a Russian prince, a famous actress, and a retired general.
  4. Andreas’s Wife: Andreas’s wife accompanies him to the dinner party at the beginning of the story but does not appear again after Andreas receives the mysterious note.
  5. Lani’s Accomplices: Unnamed individuals who help Lani carry out her plot against Andreas and pursue him through the maze at the end of the story.

Each of these characters plays a significant role in shaping the events of the story and contributing to its mysterious and surreal atmosphere.

Book Analysis

“Fantastic Night” is a collection of short stories by Austrian writer Stefan Zweig that explore the themes of love, relationships, and the human psyche. The stories are set in various locations throughout Europe and feature a range of different characters, but they all share a common focus on the emotional and psychological complexities of the human experience.

The book begins with the title story, “Fantastic Night,” which tells the story of a man who is visited by the ghost of his former lover. The story explores the themes of love, loss, and memory, as the man is forced to confront his past and come to terms with the reality of his present situation. The story is set in the context of a fantastic or supernatural element, but it serves to highlight the emotional impact of lost love and the complexity of human relationships.

Another story in the book, “Letter from an Unknown Woman,” explores the theme of passion and desire. The story tells the tale of a woman who falls deeply in love with a man from afar, and spends her life pining for him. The story highlights the intensity of human emotions and the often-destructive nature of intense passion, as the woman’s love ultimately leads to her own ruin.

The story “Amok” explores the theme of power and powerlessness. The story tells the tale of a doctor who becomes obsessed with a woman he meets on a ship, and who ultimately spirals into madness and violence as he struggles to exert his will in the face of societal expectations and his own inner demons. The story highlights the ways in which external forces can shape and control our lives, and the often-destructive consequences of attempting to resist those forces.

Throughout the book, Zweig uses his keen psychological insights and vivid prose to explore the complexities of human relationships and emotions. His stories are often set in a context of the fantastic or supernatural, but they serve to highlight the emotional and psychological impact of these events on the characters involved. The book is a powerful meditation on the human condition, and a testament to the enduring power of literature to explore and illuminate the complexities of the human experience.

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