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The Magician

A Novel

by Colm Toibin

The Magician by Colm Toibin X
The Magician by Colm Toibin
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  • Published:
    Sep 2021, 512 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rod McLary
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A vivid, imaginative rendering of the inner life of one of the 20th-century's greatest writers — Thomas Mann.

Thomas Mann — the subject of this biographical novel by Colm Tóibín — is regarded as a major 20th-century German writer, perhaps one of the best known of the so-called "Exilliteratur" writers — Germans in exile who opposed the Hitler regime. Author of works such as Buddenbrooks (1901), Death in Venice (1912) and The Magic Mountain (1924), Mann was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929.

Against a historical backdrop which includes World War I, the rise of Hitler and Nazism, World War II, the Cold War and McCarthyism in the United States, Tóibín's novel examines the life of Thomas Mann from age 16 in 1891 to just before his death at age 80 in 1955. Although Mann lived through what can only be described as an eventful period in world history, the novel focuses on his personal and family life, his emotions and thoughts, and his art.

At 16...

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