The New Confessions by William Boyd [EPUB]
29 October 2016, 06:44
2013 | EPUB | 1.09MB
‘This is what I have done and this is what has been done to me…’ So begins The New Confessions, the extraordinary, candid story of John James Todd, a Scotsman, born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed geniuses of the twentieth century. His is an astonishingly rich and diverse career, with remarkable successes and equally dramatic failures. Told in his own words from the vantage point of not-so-serene old age and self-imposed exile, Todd lets us in on the secrets of his fraught and intriguing life.
Beginning with his bizarre boyhood and schooldays in Scotland we move on to his incredible experiences of the First World War, and from there we follow his fretful progress through Berlin of the Twenties, Mexico in 1939, and the Allied invasion of St. Tropez and Los Angeles of the McCarthy era.
Charming and exasperating, shrewd and unbelievably foolish, vain and disarmingly straightforward – John James Todd is all of these. Although we may not believe absolutely everything he recounts we have to allow him this last conclusion: ‘I have done all that being-human business, all right. I have hunkered down in the mulch of the phenomenal world.’
As we discover more about the astonishing life Todd has led we track one individual’s erratic, unpredictable path through the chaos and contingency of three quarters of our century, and along the way we learn, amongst many other things, some curious facts about the life of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and how to make the perfect dry martini.
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