First Person: A novel

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Tasmanian day laborer Kif has mounting debts, a wife, a toddler, and twins on the way, all while he is toiling on his novel and entertaining the grand fantasy that he will be a novelist. A break comes his way with a $10,000 payday when he is contracted to ghostwrite the memoir of a notorious conman.

The gig proves nightmarish, however, as the subject, a shady character named Siggy Heidl, takes Kif on a tumultuous daily ride of evasion and head games. As Kif struggles against the threat of deadlines, potential non-payment, family strife, and his own yearning to reinvent his life, he inevitably internalizes the darkest strains of Siggy’s sinister tutelage.

Life and story, Kif learns, are a series of manipulations. Everyone is an unreliable narrator because truth does not exist. Instead, there is only the information people feed and are fed.

Kif’s descent into cynical darkness maps to the western cultural path of truth and expectation from 1992 onward. The Kif, whose heart and will are broken by Siggy 25 years ago, becomes a puppet master in his own right as society’s complacent belief in truth fades away, replaced by the weary acceptance of deception as the norm.


Reviewed By:

Author Richard Flanagan
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2018-Apr-03
ISBN 9780525520023
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2018
Category Modern Literature
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