Confession Of A Murderer | Granta

  • Published: 01/11/2003
  • ISBN: 9781862076211
  • 130x20mm
  • 192 pages

Confession Of A Murderer

Joseph Roth

Translated by D.I. Vesey

‘I have killed and yet I consider myself to be a good man.’ So begins the tale of former Russian secret agent Golubchik, holding court after hours in a tiny Russian restaurant on Paris’s left bank. As he recounts his tale to a rapt audience, they find themselves drawn into his futile quest to claim the noble name of his father, his destructive love affair with a beautiful model and his hatred for his half-brother, the rightful Prince. Confession of a Murderer spans rural Russia, cosmopolitan St Petersburg and pre-First World War Paris and alternately fascinates and horrifies the reader with its wild story of collaboration, deception and murder in the days leading up to the Russian Revolution.

This is a welcome reissue of a novel by one of the great Central European writers of the 20th century. A prolific political journalist and novelist, Joseph Roth admired the old Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire as a cosmopolitan world and noted its decline as a sad chapter in European history. In Confessions of a Murderer, first published in 1936, a former Russian secret agent holds court in a tiny Russian restaurant in Paris as he tells of his quest to claim the noble name of his father, his destructive love affair and his hatred for his half-brother, the rightful prince. The colourful story - which has backdrops of pre-World War One Paris, rural Russia and St Petersburg before the Revolution - is told in a graceful, fluent narrative of genuine depth and richness

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The Author

Joseph Roth (1894-1939) was the great elegist of the cosmopolitan, tolerant and doomed Central European culture that flourished in the dying days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Born into a Jewish family in Galicia, on the eastern edge of the empire, he was a prolific political journalist and novelist. On Hitler’s assumption of power, he was obliged to leave Germany for Paris, where he died in poverty a few years later. His books include What I Saw, Job, The White Cities, The String of Pearls, The Emperor’s Tomb and The Radetzky March, all published by Granta Books.

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