The New Confessions

By William Boyd


The New Confessions is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century.

Year of Publication


This maximalist fiction follows John James Todd from his birth in Edinburgh, to the trenches of World War One, Berlin, Hollywood and eventual exile in the Mediterranean, and features an attempt to make a film of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions. The novel deals with patriotism and personal integrity, political and domestic betrayals, and how the camera reveals and lies. -- Stuart Kelly