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New Confessions [Paperback]

William Boyd
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 1 1988
"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 ordeal by McCarthyism and eventual escape to Europe' - Peter Kemp, "Observer".

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"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.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

$18.95. f Early in life John James Todd, forgotten hero of the cinematic avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, is advised, "Make your own rut. It's the only way." Throughout a long and tempestuous life, Todd remains true to his artistic vision, from his first movies of the Great War to the last B-westerns 30 years later. The capstone of his career is a five-hour, three-screen version of Rousseau's Confessions ; it appears just as talkies arrive on the scene, eliminating the audience for his one undiluted masterpiece. Vain and impulsive, undisciplined in all save his work, Todd is spiritual heir to his beloved JeanJacques. Better than either the prize-winning A Good Man in Africa ( LJ 5/1/82) or An Ice Cream War ( LJ 4/15/83), this novel shows Boyd's considerable ability as storyteller and the rich comic sense that infuses his work with life. David Keymer, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Utica
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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My first act on entering this world was to kill my mother. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i would give it a million stars Dec 26 2000
By A Customer
i have read everything Wm. Boyd has published--even the screenplays. he's my favorite writer and i have a Ph.D. in Literature. ok--enough said--read this book--it will change you; it will haunt you. i have read TNC about 12 times. it is an insane book. here are Boyd's best, in order (according to snargey me, that is, and who am i to say what's best? an authority, that's who, knucklehead!): 1. the new confessions 2. brazzaville beach 3. on the yankee station 4. an ice-cream war 5. a good man in africa the rest of his books are kind of "uh..." to tell you the truth...but the aforementioned are great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely destined to be a classic! Oct. 18 2000
For the life of me, I will never ever forget the first and last sentences of this book, the slightly-damaged hardbound edition of which I bought for only a dollar(!) in a discount section of a bookstore here in Manila in 1994! A rare, serendipitous literary find for me, indeed. Truly captivating, a biography like this of one John James Todd can only be created by one destined to be a world literary giant. Medicine, Mathematics, Philosophy, 20th Century History, Cinema -- all combined and meticulously woven in one great book of insights. It is as if every turn of a page of this book, a hologram appears and all you have to do is watch, laugh and weep as the 3-Dimensional events happen grandly, clearly, colorfully and ceaselessly before your very eyes.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boyd knows how to make the journey worth while May 12 2002
You know you have read a bad book when you sit through it, sneering in disgust until you reach the end, when you throw it across the room or hide it in shame. The wonderful thing with William Boyd is he is so magical with the subtlety of his messages. Reading Confessions I knew I was in the hands of a good writer, and that I would not be let down. True to form, the ending wrapped Confessions up neatly and fittingly. Reading books like Boyd's are a relief - there is so much [junk] out there and we must all thank God there are published writers who actually have true gifts of literacy (and I challenge anyone to beat Boyd at his game, he is a true master of the english lexicon). All in all, I love this book and if you, like me, feel good books are few and far between, read this for a good dose of refreshment.
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By A Customer
This novel is so bold. It's protagonist essays a contemprary film version of Rousseau's CONFESSIONS. The aspiration eats up his life, a lifetime which fits nicely into our century and the development of cinematic art. The reader travels through early century London and Gernmany and eventually to latter day Los Angeles. As soon as I finished this book I devoured the Rousseau and loved it as much.
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