THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2022
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2022
From one of our greatest living writers comes a sweeping novel of unrequited love and exile, war and family.
The Magician tells the story of Thomas Mann, whose life was filled with great acclaim and contradiction. He would find himself on the wrong side of history in the First World War, cheerleading the German army, but have a clear vision of the future in the second, anticipating the horrors of Nazism.
He would have six children and keep his homosexuality hidden; he was a man forever connected to his family and yet bore witness to the ravages of suicide. He would write some of the greatest works of European literature, and win the Nobel Prize, but would never return to the country that inspired his creativity.
Through one life, Colm Tóibín tells the breathtaking story of the twentieth century.
'As with everything Colm Tóibín sets his masterful hand to, The Magician is a great imaginative achievement -- immensely readable, erudite, worldly and knowing, and fully realized' - Richard Ford
'No living novelist dramatizes artistic creation as profoundly, as luminously, as Colm Tóibín . . . reading him is among the deepest pleasures our literature can offer' - Garth Greenwell
'This is not just a whole life in a novel, it's a whole world' - Katharina Volckmer
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
I love everything Colm Tóibín has written and The Magician is another masterpiece . . . Historical fiction at its best
Sumptuous and satisfying
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
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
Taking on Thomas Mann is no easy task, but Tóibín's fictional account of the inner life of the great German novelist is masterful
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
In a novel of many moods, its every page rings true
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
Both epic and intimate, The Magician is most successful in its moving portrait of three generations of sprawling, loving, fractious family life . . . a triumph
Colm Tóibín on why he left his hometown behind to explore a family drama in the royal households of Ancient Greece in House of Names.
James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room is a mainstay on lists of LGBTQ classics. In this introduction from the new Everyman edition, Colm Tóibín unravels the intimately confessional style that draws this beautiful book into so many readers’ hearts