This is a novel Thomas Mann began when a young man and finished when an old man. He said he didn’t have the strength needed to keep up the tone of the novel when he was young. When you read this strange, delightful, exciting novel you’ll know what he meant.
Felix Krull, the hero/villain, is exuberant and fantastical and irrepressible. To think up such a character requires youth – to create such a being requires patience, persistence, knowledge, energy and incredible skill and competence, in short, a matured genius.
This is the kind of book many great writers have within them but very few ever find the courage to produce. Thomas Mann did his best and gave us – The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man.
Though the book ends too soon and we feel cheated and bereft – none, I think, will regret having met and loved (and hated) Felix Krull.
(This used to be available in a cheaper edition back when Penguin published more than the most obvious classics… The edition pictured is the only available one I could find.)
About the Contributor
John Purcell (aka Natasha Walker) is the author of The Secret Lives of Emma trilogy published by Random House Australia. The Secret Lives of Emma: Beginnings reached the top ten on the Australian fiction charts and Natasha/John was the tenth highest selling Australian novelist and third highest selling Australian debut author in 2012. The trilogy has since sold over 50,000 copies in print and ebook and has been translated into French, Korean and Polish. John has worked in the book industry for over twenty-five years. While still in his twenties he opened John’s Bookshop, a second-hand bookshop in Mosman in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Now he is the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au.