December Discussion – The Magician

The publisher described The Magician by Colm Toibin as “a stunning marriage of research and imagination, Tóibín explores the heart and mind of a writer (Noble Prize winner Thomas Mann) whose gift is unparalleled and whose life is driven by a need to belong and the anguish of illicit desire.” 

“The Magician is an intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of Mann, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived—the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile. This is a man and a family fiercely engaged by the world, profoundly flawed, and unforgettable.”

Pageturners had a lot to say about this book and it sparked an interest to read’s Mann’s first novel Buddenbrooks. Many were not sure if they would like it, but many ultimately did enjoy it.  Comments included: “ liked the story, it was epic, very detailed, seemed we read every conversation he ever had, intelligent, interesting book, typical well-educated Germans, couldn’t believe he didn’t go to funeral,  I didn’t know much about Germany at this time, explores family dynamics, you have to remember this is fiction, you can accept his story, is the title about smoke and mirrors in his life?, I learnt a lot, easy to read, heavy on conversation, he was self-indulgent, very strong characters and very self-centred, Mann had a privileged writer’s life, well fictionalised, and I didn’t know Mann was a successful novelist.”

Ratings out of 5 ranged from 3.5 to 4.5.

For more discussion points go to the Reading Guide.

Check out the publisher’s website.

Visit the author’s website.

And here is a review from The Guardian.

Next meeting:

The next Pageturners meetings will be held on Wednesday 9 February at 12.30pm and 5.30pm at Orange City Library. We will be talking about a Holiday Read you would recommend. Please book your place online via or call us on 6393 8125. See you soon!

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