Staff Reviews

First Person

First Person

By Richard Flanagan

The premise: Kif, a hapless young writer, is assigned the task of ghostwriting the autobiography of a corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl, with whom he is asked to sit down and compile the book before the criminal goes to jail in six weeks. Their relationship is strained from the start, especially since Heidl is not at all forthcoming with telling his story. Furthermore, he seems to develop a dark influence over the writer’s personal life. At a later stage, it appears as if Kif would even turn into a person quite similar to Heidl.

Will Kif dare to make up material to fulfil his contract? Will Heidl attempt to murder him, or his family? This novel is suspenseful and really good at exposing the protagonists’ psychology. However, I found the narrative a little uneven, with most chapters very engaging but a few strangely flat. Overall: a really good read!


Reviewed by Dr Gert Reifarth