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  • An Epic Journey

    An epic journey... "The Magician" by Colm Tóibín is a fictional portrayal of German author Thomas Mann covering a history from pre-war Germany in the 1890's through post-cold war America. It is a fascinating insight into Mann and his colorful family-- particularly when they were forced to witness the Nazi takeover and had to abandon their home. Politics would also follow them to America after the war as they were subjected to the wave of anti-Communism. In Germany Mann was initially reluctant to voice his opposition to Hitler or even get involved in the political mess developing there. Fearful for his reputation, he hid his homosexuality throughout his life, even as his children were unafraid to flaunt their very open lifestyles. The Thomas Mann we see is a lover of art and beauty, yet he channels most of his passion into his Pulitzer Prize winning writing, electing to project a detached personae on the outside. The problem is we do not delve into his actual work at all. The title "The Magician" refers to the nickname his children gave him for his ability to create magic in his literature-- a magic we are not exposed to from an otherwise guarded and distant man. This saga covers a considerable amount of time, an epic history of a spirited family and how they were sucked into the political and social tidal waves of the age. Be prepared for a challenging but rewarding read. 4 stars. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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  • Boring

    I found this book so boring I could not finish reading it.

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