Nominated by:

LINC Tasmania, Australia

Cork City Libraries, Ireland

Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand

Publisher of nominated edition:

Chatto & Windus, UK

Knopf Australia

First Person

Richard Flanagan    

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North, the hypnotic tale of a ghost writer writing the memoir of a notorious con man, and the chilling events that unfold as their lives become increasingly intertwined.

Kif Kehlmann, a young, penniless writer, is rung in the middle of the night by the notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl offers Kehlmann the job of ghost writing his memoir. He has six weeks to write the book, for which he’ll be paid $10,000.

But as the writing gets under way, Kehlmann begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. As the deadline draws closer, he becomes ever more unsure if he is ghost writing a memoir, or if Heidl is rewriting him–his life, his future. Everything that was certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: Who is Siegfried Heidl–and who is Kif Kehlmann?

As time runs out, as Kehlmann’s world feels it is hurtling toward a catharsis, one question looms above all others: What is the truth? By turns compelling, comic, and chilling, this is a haunting journey into the heart of our age.

About the author

Richard Flanagan’s five previous novels—Death of a River Guide, The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, The Unknown Terrorist, and Wanting—have received numerous honors and are published in forty-two countries. He won the Man Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North. He lives in Tasmania.

(from publisher)

Librarians’ comments:

Tasmanian writer, Richard Flanagan’s latest novel was our lending service’s most popular literary fiction title in 2017-18.

A different take on ‘fake news’. A hard-up writer agrees to ghost write a memoir by a conman, and soon regrets it. Based on an experience Flanagan himself had, the story charts how dealing with a conman changes the protagonist, not for the better.

The story of a struggling writer who gets an opportunity to ghostwrite the memoir of a notorious conman in 1990s Australia. But the road is a slippery one and lines become blurred as our man becomes ever deeper involved. Flanagan has entrenched himself at the top of the heap of contemporary authors.

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