"The New Confessions" is a wickedly funny novel by bestselling author William Boyd. "Brilliant ...a Citizen Kane of a novel". ("Daily Telegraph"). "The New Confessions" is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of ...Read More"The New Confessions" is a wickedly funny novel by bestselling author William Boyd. "Brilliant ...a Citizen Kane of a novel". ("Daily Telegraph"). "The New Confessions" is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century. "An often magnificent feat of story-telling and panoramic reconstruction...John James Todd's reminiscences carry us through the ups and downs of a long and lively career that begins in genteel Edinburgh, devastatingly detours out to the Western Front, forks off, after a period of cosy family life in London, to the electric excitements of the Berlin film-world of the Twenties, then moves on to Hollywood ...to ordeal by McCarthyism and eventual escape to Europe". (Peter Kemp, "Observer"). "The New Confessions" will be loved by fans of "An Ice-cream War" and "Any Human Heart", as well as readers of Ben Macintyre, Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel. William Boyd has received world-wide acclaim for his novels. They are: "A Good Man in Africa" (1981, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize), "An Ice Cream War" (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), "Stars and Bars" (1984), "The New Confessions" (1987), "Brazzaville Beach" (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), "The Blue Afternoon" (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction, 1995), "Armadillo" (1998) and "Any Human Heart" (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet). He is also the author of a collection of screenplays and a memoir of his school days, "School Ties" (1985); and three collections of short stories: "On the Yankee Station" (1981), "The Destiny of Nathalie 'X'" (1995) and "Fascination" (2004). He also wrote the speculative memoir "Nat Tate: an American Artist" - the publication of which, in the spring of 1998, caused something of a stir on both sides of the Atlantic. A collection of his non-fiction writings, 1978-2004, entitled "Bamboo", was published in October 2005. His ninth novel, "Restless", was published in September 2006 (Costa Book Award, Novel of the Year 2006) and his tenth novel, "Ordinary Thunderstorms", published September 2009. His most recent novel is "Waiting For Sunrise" which published in February 2011.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1989-04-21 ``John James Todd, the tenacious, reflective, wise, ambitious, romantic filmmaker and adventurer who is the narrator of Boyd's fourth novel, is not a real person--except that Boyd delightfully makes him so in this ribald `autobiography' based in spirit on Rousseau's Confessions ,'' said PW. (June)
Publishers Weekly, 1988-04-15 John James Todd, the tenacious, reflective, wise, ambitious, romantic filmmaker and adventurer who is the narrator of Boyd's (A Good Man in Africa, An Ice Cream War) fourth novel, is not a real personexcept that Boyd delightfully makes him so in this ribald ``autobiography'' based in spirit on Rousseau's Confessions, that posthumously published ``enterprise which has no precedent, and which, once complete will have no imitator.'' Looking back on his life from a villa on the French Riviera in 1972, the Scottish Todd (born in 1899 to a mother wholike Rousseau'sdied at the moment of his birth) recalls events from his Edinburgh childhood and through the 1950s. He is introduced to the Confessions while a prisoner of war during WW I (the guard who procures it for him is a German actor and they remain friends) and its themes continue to haunt him. Todd is variously a doorman in Berlin in the '20s; a celebrated filmmaker in that city; a failed filmmaker of westerns once silent movies disappear; a foreign correspondent for several of the most unimportant newspapers west of the Mississippi during WW II; and a blacklisted filmmaker in Hollywood in the '50s. He fathers four children but is not a family man. Todd's greatest achievement is a technically adventurous, five-hour version of the first part of Rousseau's autobiography, starring Karl-Heinz Kornfield, his former guard. As Todd describes his work on this silent film, we become convinced that we have seen it; his other films are similarly vivid. So too are Todd himself and his lovers, friends and enemies. (Like Rousseau, he is unsparing in exposing his own flaws, and sometimes his callousness is chilling.) Todd's eloquent philosophic asides on how chance and circumstance, rather than simply will, shape an individual's destiny, reflect the masterful way Boyd allows Todd to tell his magnificent story. For while he gives his imagination free reign, the author exerts an impressive control, shaping the anecdotes for deeper understanding of Todd's character. $75,000 ad/promo; BOMC featured alternate; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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