The Magician by Colm Tóibín – my book review in Lambda Literary

Lambda Literary published and included in its December mailings my review of The Magician, Colm Tóibín’s novelized biography of Thomas Mann, Germany’s greatest 20th century writer – and a married and closeted public figure.

“Gay, artistic Thomas is born into a prosperous mercantile family [where] money is as self-evident and essential as water and sunshine. When, a few decades later, the post-war inflation evaporates the family fortune, his mother does what other self-respecting women of her class would do – take to bed and starve herself to death – because she simply doesn’t know how to live otherwise.” [. . . ]

I proposed to write this review for Lambda Literary because of my deep love for both writers. Mann’s The Magic Mountain, Doctor Faustus, and Death in Venice are among the finest works of fiction I’ve ever read. Toibin’s The Master, Brooklyn, and the lesser-known The Story of the Night are simply delightful. That said, my review points out some flaws in The Magician, and yet, it is a profound book which deserves to be read, a study of a life rich, complex, and meaningful.

Check it out and please 🙏 support this wonderful organization.

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