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First Person

A Novel
Narrated by: David Linski
Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Kif Kehlmann, a young, penniless writer, thinks he’s finally caught a break when he’s offered $10,000 to ghostwrite the memoir of Siegfried “Ziggy” Heidl, the notorious con man and corporate criminal. Ziggy is about to go to trial for defrauding banks for $700 million; they have six weeks to write the book.   

But Ziggy swiftly proves almost impossible to work with: evasive, contradictory, and easily distracted by his still-running “business concerns” - which Kif worries may involve hiring hit men from their shared office. Worse, Kif finds himself being pulled into an odd, hypnotic, and ever-closer orbit of all things Ziggy. 

As the deadline draws near, Kif becomes increasingly unsure if he is ghostwriting a memoir or if Ziggy is rewriting him - his life, his future, and the very nature of the truth.   

By turns comic, compelling, and finally chilling, First Person is a haunting look at an age where fact is indistinguishable from fiction and freedom is traded for a false idea of progress. 

©2018 Richard Flanagan (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Richard Flanagan is among the most versatile writers in the English language. That he is also an environmental activist and the author of numerous influential works of nonfiction makes his achievement all the more remarkable. Each of Flanagan’s seven novels is distinct from the others, as if they are by different writers; each is a tour de force of its own kind, and several have been called ‘masterpieces’ by reviewers - as if a gifted writer might be expected to have a ‘masterpiece’ with each publication rather than once in a career.... First Person is a kind of twenty-first-century Picture of Dorian Gray.... Epiphanies and aphorisms abound: gem-like remarks [and] unexpected insights.” (Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books

“The novel, with its switchbacking recollections and cyclical dialogue, its penetrating scenes of birth and, eventually, death, is enigmatic and mesmerizing.” (The New Yorker)

“Heidl as a character is deeply compelling, and Flanagan writes with acute sensitivity about Kif’s swelling anxieties made deeper by his gradually crumbling marriage.” (Olen Steinhauer, The New York Times Book Review

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Best performance ever!

I’ve listened to over 250 audible.com books in nine years and David Linski’s performance of Flanagan’s great and latest novel stands out as perhaps the best I’ve ever experienced. ‘Nuff said.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful