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The New Confessions [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

William Boyd
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23. Februar 2012
The New Confessions is a wickedly funny novel by bestselling author William Boyd'Brilliant ... a Citizen Kane of a novel' Daily TelegraphThe 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 theSomerset Maugham Prize) An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 BookerPrize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), TheNew Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prizeand the James Tait Black Memorial Prize) The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner ofthe 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times BookAward for Fiction, 1995), Armadillo (1998) and Any Human Heart (2002, winner ofthe Prix Jean Monnet). He is also the author of a collection of screenplays and amemoir of his schooldays, School Ties (1985); and three collections of shortstories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995) andFascination (2004). He also wrote the speculative memoir of his schooldays,School Ties (1985); three collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station(1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995) and Fascination (2004). He alsowrote the speculative memoir Nat Tate: an American Artist -- the publication ofwhich, in the spring of 1998, caused something of a stir on both sides of theAtlantic. A collection of his non-fiction writings, 1978-2004, entitled Bamboo,was published in October 2005. His ninth novel, Restless, was published inSeptember 2006 (Costa Book Award, Novel of the Year 2006) and his tenth novel,Ordinary Thunderstorms, published September 2009. His most recent novel isWaiting For Sunrise which published in February 2011.

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  • Taschenbuch: 592 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin; Auflage: Re-issue (23. Februar 2012)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0141046910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141046914
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 3,5 x 13,2 x 19,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 7.004 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)

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"An entertaining and darkly comic novel, a novel given weight and ballast by the pressure of recent history."  --The New York Times

"Here is the rarest of books, the sort you want to read again--even before you've finished it the first time. . . . Boyd gives us a magnificent experience." --People

"Boyd has created an important and complex character in a vividly evoked series of settings. . . . He has written a subtle and provocative history of our time." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Entertaining and intellectually engaging." --Time -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


"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". -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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2.0 von 5 Sternen The New Confessions 5. September 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
I have read quite some books by William Boyd, and I like them a lot. This one I found rather disappointing. The main character remains flat, selfish and unsympathetic. Of course, Boyd has tried to equal Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who had a comparable biography and character. But Boyd's effort to write an equivalent of Rousseau's Confessions, has failed for me. I had to force myself to go on reading.
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11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen another sweeping saga by Boyd fully entertains.. 18. September 2005
Von lazza - Veröffentlicht auf
William Boyd is a terrific storyteller. His prose is of high quality, characterizations livid and entertaining. I'm glad to say 'The New Confessions' is standard William Boyd material. It is a faux autobiography of a Scotsman as he reminisces through his full life of the first three quarters of the twentieth century. He experiences the horror of trench warfare in WW I, he becomes a famous silent film director of the Germany avant-garde cinema, and then lives several years in turbulent Hollywood before retiring on an island in the Mediterranian. He is no hero, and not a particularly nice guy. But is life story is very rich; I wish I had a grandfather like him!

However 'The New Confessions is not perfect. The ending is a bit of a disappointment, and overall the book seems too much like his 'Any Human Heart' (..which he wrote later but I read earlier). I do wish William Boyd would return to the stellar form he demonstrated with 'Brazzaville Beach', a less ambitious but much more powerful novel.

Bottom line: thoroughly competent but Boyd can do better. Still, any average effort by Boyd is worthy read.
14 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Definitely destined to be a classic! 18. Oktober 2000
Von Bea Quinn - Veröffentlicht auf
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.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Chancy Affair 30. April 2011
Von Daniel Myers - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Reading this book, I was reminded of why, despite Rousseau's many shortcomings and faults, I've always loved his Confessions: It's BECAUSE of his all too human shortcomings and faults. That said, our protagonist herein, John James Todd, is not exactly a modern day John-Jacques. The most obvious flaw is that the caustic tone Boyd lends him herein is almost exactly that of Nat Tate, the protagonist in his later book Any Human Heart, rather than the lilting, self-pitying one of Rousseau's Confessions. Still, it is impossible not to sympathise with Todd in his narrative and regard him, if not as a man more sinned against than sinning, than at least as one equally sinned against as sinning.

Todd, like Rousseau, is very unreliable as narrator, and at some parts of the book it can become a sort of pleasant distraction to discover the narrative inaccuracies: My personal favourite was his quoting (actually misquoting, as he himself says) from T. S. Eliot's poem "Burnt Norton" whilst in Germany in the 20's, even though Eliot didn't even begin writing the poem until the 30's.

It's all very confusing at times reading a book called The New Confessions by author Boyd which consists of a confessional narrative by character Todd written at the end of his life which was largely devoted to the creation of a film version of Rousseau's Confessions. It's all rather like a literary version of a Russian matryoshka doll with progressively smaller dolls enclosed inside it.

Be all this as it may, one can't help but be drawn to a cad with a vision surrounded by pious hypocrites with no vision at all, save getting and spending - which is basically the set-up here. And, underlying it all, the reiterated Boyd/Todd theme that we are all playthings of Chance, regardless of how we try to delude ourselves:

"There is no guarantee of good fortune, no assurance that your allies will always be staunch, that unfairness and indifference will not always prevail. So why in these cases (Jean Jacques's case) does the world howl paranoic, lunatic, misanthrope, ingrate, egomaniac? ........I will tell you why. Because it makes people feel better, more secure. If they can lay all the blame on the victim....Chance, the random and haphazard, the contingent, do not really dictate the way the world turns."

And who does not have more than a bit of the Rousseauvian in him in the sense that: "When I act it is because I am impelled by something irresistible within me and seldom as a result of some well-plotted strategy."

A flawed book, whose covers the prospective reader will hopefully chance to open.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Magnificent blend of classic literature history of film 25. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
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.
7 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Outstanding Fictional Memoir 25. Dezember 2003
Von A. Ross - Veröffentlicht auf
This fictional memoir displays Boyd's consummate skill and style to full effect, ranging across time an place to create a vivid tale. Jean Jacques Rousseau's Confessions is (perhaps arguably) first tell-all memoir, and here Boyd updates it through the reminisces of James Todd. The story unfolds chronologically from his birth in 1899 and upbringing in Edinburgh to the 1970s, when he sits incognito on a quiet island writing his memoirs. The years between are a picaresque journey through the first half of the last century and one man's attempt to create meaning in his life.
The early years in his domineering father's household document an unhappy child yearning for love and approval. His father's quest to perfect and patent medicines provides an uncommonly interesting background for this. When a family friend introduces him to photography, the die is cast. As a teenager, like so many British men of his age, he is swallowed by the first World War, where he is wounded at Ypres. Here, Boyd's descriptions manage to breath fresh life into carnage whose horror has been well-documented. Fortuitously, he is then transferred to a propaganda unit, where his talent in photography is applied to the new realm of film. Captured by the Germans, he languishes in prison, where a guard befriends him and gives him a copy of Rousseau's Confessions to pass the time. The work insinuates itself into him, and it percolates in him in the postwar years as he works in the London silent film industry. Despite marrying and fathering several children, his ambitions remain thwarted and he moves to Berlin to pursue his pet project of making an epic version of Rousseau's book.
In Weimar Berlin he embraces the vibrant (if pfenningless) art community and reconnects with his former guard, who is now an actor. Working together, and with Armenian producers, their careers start to take off and Todd becomes embroiled in a lifelong love affair with an actress. Boyd's description of the inter-war Berlin film scene is so vivid, and the discussion of Todd's career so convincing that one is tempted to put the book down and rush to the video store to see his films. With the juice to get his pet Rousseau project made, Todd throws himself full-tilt into the project, only to see the emergence of "talkies" scuttle it. This propels him to Hollywood, where makes some quiet B-Westerns embedded with subtle social messages until t he next war finds him scrambling around as a war correspondent for third-tier U.S. newspapers.
Following WWII, he falls afoul of the McCarthy witch hunts for communist in the entertainment industry and appears before HUAC. Here, is perhaps the book's one flaw. The HUAC hearings provide Todd with an opportunity to both stay afloat by naming names (some of whom have already named him), and exact revenge on his longtime archnemesis-but he doesn't take it. Although he's presented as variously idealistic and honorable, it's the one time in the book where the character doesn't hold true. And from here, the book bogs down a little, as Todd's current situation as apparent exile starts to loom over the proceedings. Despite a somewhat unsatisiying ending, the story's overall quality is head and shoulders above the pack. Once again Boyd has researched a plethora of subjects and places, and recreates them perfectly. At the same time he occasionally deploys a light comic touch to lighten this story of the search for meaning and the role of chance in life.
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