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0241004616
The magician
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Author: Toibin, Colm
Publication year: 2021
Media class: Hardback
Classification: F
Publisher: Viking, 2021
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9780241004616
Notes:
'The Magician' tells the story of Thomas Mann, whose life was filled with great acclaim and contradiction. He would find himself on the wrong side of history in the First World War, cheerleading the German army, but have a clear vision of the future in the second, anticipating the horrors of Nazism. He would have six children and keep his homosexuality hidden; he was a man forever connected to his family and yet bore witness to the ravages of suicide. He would write some of the greatest works of European literature, and win the Nobel Prize, but would never return to the country that inspired his creativity.
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Although a fictionalised biography of Thomas Mann, a knowledge of his books isn't needed to appreciate Toibin's novel. It traces Mann’s development as a writer, but just as interestingly, it places him at the centre of early 20th-century German turbulence, which humorously Mann did his utmost to 'escape' (there is a constant reference to him returning to his study ??) but the real world kept breaking in, often through the antics of his immediate family. Toibin's writing style is approachable. He tells the story of Mann's life in deservingly elegant prose. Thomas Mann is a complicated person, aiming for an elegant, graceful lifestyle, writing his books while the 20th century rages around him. I rate it 5/5
19/01/22
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Devon Libraries
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