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First Person

First Person by Richard Flanagan
Hardcover
Apr 03, 2018 | 368 Pages
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    Apr 03, 2018 | 368 Pages

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    Apr 03, 2018 | 368 Pages

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Praise

“An aria on the necessity of self-invention, on the loops and lacunas of memory and bullish inadequacy of all language . . . Boasts a shimmering ingenuity and ominousness . . . At a time when our truth is daily contorted, debauched or ignored, we require Flanagan’s artful reminder of the wreckage caused by our unwillingness to say what happened.”—William Giraldi, The Washington Post

“An acerbic exploration of how the contemporary world came to be defined by lies, deceit, and obfuscation . . . Full of hilarious asides, this sonorous, blackly comic novel offers searing insight into our times.” Booklist (starred)

Reviews from the UK:
 
“Flanagan writes with a searing truth . . . First Person is both comic and frightening. At times I caught a glimpse of Money-era Martin Amis . . . And there’s a hint, too, of an epochal gloom that is redolent of The Great Gatsby . . . There are also passages touched with the virtuosity that shone so brightly in The Narrow Road that are pure Flanagan . . . First Person is studded with sharp, breath-catching observations about the finite nature of life.” Financial Times
 
First Person is a serious treatment of important modern issues (corporate corruption, exploitation of trust, the impudent dismissal of truth).” The Sunday Times
 
“A smart, slippery novel pitched somewhere between book-world satire, psychological thriller, and state-of-Australia analysis . . . Electric.” Daily Mail
 
“As unsettling as it is inspired.”  Esquire
 
“Absorbing . . . The strength of the novel rests in its mordant intelligence, in its recognition that the world today is essentially Ziggy’s, one of make-believe and denial.” —The Scotsman
 
“A black comedy about the unreliability of memory and the warped values of modern publishing. But the beauty of First Person is the way it blossoms into a much richer novel than that outline scenario suggests . . . Both readable and thought-provoking.” The Irish Mail on Sunday
 
“Scathingly funny . . . Also a profound and thought-provoking novel that explores the nature of truth, lies, and fiction.”  The Bookseller
 
 
Reviews from Australia:
 
“A powerful, funny, disturbing, moving—and, unironically, albeit paradoxically—real distillation of the themes that have preoccupied Flanagan [throughout his career] . . . While some Booker winners struggle to achieve the same critical acclaim for their next book, Flanagan, with this intensely personal novel, may have written an even better one. And when he candidly and honestly confronts the raw truths of the writing life and the family life, material and spiritual poverty, love and despair and desire, he touches on genuine brilliance.” The Australian
 
“A triumph . . . The informed consensus since early novels including Death of a River Guide and The Sound of One Hand Clapping is that Flanagan is Australia’s greatest living novelist. His newie, First Person, superglues him to the pedestal . . . First Person is a parable for the age of Trump . . . This is a book of demonic possession, of obsession, and there’s a zinger of thought, of expression, in every paragraph . . . As harrowing a book as any I’ve read.” The Weekend Australian Magazine
 
“No one has written better than Henry James about the vocation of writing, its isolate ecstasies and public humiliations, and the implacable demands it places upon those who devote their lives to its practice . . . Similarly, no one in contemporary Australian literature has enunciated so clearly and with such vehemence the desire to become a writer in this pure, Jamesian sense as Richard Flanagan . . . Flanagan’s latest may seem a lighthearted subject after the horrors of war explored in Narrow Road. But it is not. It is a fiction even darker still . . . The obscure horror we feel trembling at the edge of Flanagan’s new novel is the sense that the way of life we have chosen as a society involves the subordination of every aspect of our lives to an ideology that is hostile to the old verities at the heart of the novel, at the heart of the human.” The Monthly
 
“Haunting . . . The tale of a ghostwriter overwhelmed by the darkness surrounding his dubious subject.”  —The Weekly Review

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