Get Your Free Audiobook

First Person

Narrated by: David James
Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

Non-member price: $54.63

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

In this blistering story of a ghostwriter haunted by his demonic subject, the Man Booker Prize winner turns to lies, crime and literature with devastating effect.

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 ghostwriting his memoir.

He has six weeks to write the book, for which he'll be paid $10,000. But as the writing gets underway, 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, 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.

©2017 Richard Flanagan (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Flanagan's writing courses like a river...a vivid, voluptuous, exhilarating writer." ( The Sunday Telegraph)
"Quite simply, Flanagan is an outstanding writer." ( Metro)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brad
  • Hobart, Australia
  • 17-12-2017

First person: An acute analysis of the age of the second rate

A compelling dissection of the trap of narcissism, written with passion and deep insight into the craft of writing and its relationship with truth, celebrity and power. This novel mines character and personal responsibility with finely honed writing and though occasionally requiring perseverance, delivers a seam of darkly gleaming humour, studded with raw gems of observation on the human condition.

The performance by audio is solidly delivered with just the right measure of authority and droll drawl to capture an Australian take on the industry of literature and the flaws of the contemporary personality.

I think it is not for the listener who doesn’t want to think about what they are hearing. It is a book that invites investigation of where the corpses are buried, drawing the listener in to the search, not for the sake of detective adventure (which it certainly provides) but because it reminds us, they are right here, underneath our commonplace endeavours. If you are interested in writing, in recent history, in the nature of the self, this is the book to listen too. To quote the cliches, “I laughed out loud. I was moved to tears. It got into my dreams. “

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • B_R
  • NZ
  • 22-05-2018

Literary bent on good vs evil

First Person was apparently based on the author's own experiences. Richard Flanagan was hired to ghostwrite the biography of an infamous Australian criminal and this is the fictionalised version of that truth. And what a story it is! A man who ducks and dodges and hides the truth from everyone including his biographer, resulting in a book that treats history as a burden and reveres fictionalised truths. Perfect fodder for a struggling writer (as Flanagan apparently was at that time).

The real story here though is the human story. Good vs Evil. Kif the good, the well-intentioned protagonist, full of struggle and potential. Siegfried the bad, the antagonist, a conman, the withholder of the truth. Yet the interplay between the characters never feels stereotyped. The timing of the plot is steady, yet portrays Kif's growing angst as required.

My only gripe is that the ending played out too long. Without providing a spoiler, once the relationship between writer and subject is concluded, I felt the book should have wound up. However, still a great read and worth the investment of time.



  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

very hard work in all the wrong ways

didn't enjoy this story at al, the main character had no redeemable features, neither did the story line...

0 of 1 people found this review helpful