Fabrizio, an impoverished aristocrat, is compelled to earn a living as a translator specialising in nineteenth-century German novels. Although he is 38 years old, he suffers from chronic shyness and is unable to live in his time and to form lasting relationships. By chance he comes across a lost essay which praises Das Haus am Mondsee, a novel by an imaginary turn of the century Viennese writer. Fabrizio envisages finding this lost novel and acquiring a reputation in the field of German Studies. His search takes him to Vienna and then to the region of Salzburg, on the Moon lake of the title where, quite by chance, and after he has abandoned all hope, he finds the novel - and more than he has bargained for. As the story becomes increasingly complicated, the threshold between reality and fiction fades away. Maria, the dead writer's muse, ceases to be just a dream and becomes real, while Fabrizio becomes increasingly weaker and falls prey to a strange illness.
This edition, which comprises extensive notes and an introductory essay in English, as well as a glossary, introduces readers to one of Italy's most interesting contemporary writers.