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Reviews

  • This is an enormously ambitious book, one in which the intimate and the momentous are exquisitely balanced. It is the story of a man who spent almost all of his adult life behind a desk or going for sedate little post-prandial walks with his wife. From this sedentary existence Tóibín has fashioned an epic

    Guardian
  • I love everything Colm Tóibín has written and The Magician is another masterpiece . . . Historical fiction at its best

    Nicola Sturgeon, New Statesman, Books of the Year
  • Sumptuous and satisfying

    The Times, A Best Fiction Book of 2021
  • The Magician, recreates as biographical fiction the life, thoughts and achievements of Thomas Mann. It is dark, beautifully constructed and, I think, as near as one author can get to entering the mind of another

    Melvyn Bragg, New Statesman, Books of the Year
  • The Magician uses the life of Thomas Mann to explore the complex relationships between intimacy and history, public and private lives, and the slippery nature of creativity itself. I found it mesmerising

    Fintan O’Toole, New Statesman, Books of the Year
  • Taking on Thomas Mann is no easy task, but Tóibín's fictional account of the inner life of the great German novelist is masterful

    Frederick Studemann, FT, Best Books of 2021: Critics’ Picks
  • The Magician is not a biography but a work of art, an emotional reckoning with a century of change, centred on a man who tried to stand upright but was swayed by the winds of that change

    The Times
  • In a novel of many moods, its every page rings true

    Mail on Sunday
  • An expansive yet deeply personal exploration of the life of exiled German writer Thomas Mann . . . Containing beautiful observations on life and literature, and a sweeping sense of historical scale, The Magician remains tightly written and wryly funny

    Independent
  • Both epic and intimate, The Magician is most successful in its moving portrait of three generations of sprawling, loving, fractious family life . . . a triumph

    Financial Times

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