Download PDF by Thomas Mann: Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man: The Early Years

By Thomas Mann

Recounts the enchanted profession of the con guy extraordinaire Felix Krull--a guy unhampered via the ethical precepts that govern the behavior of normal humans.

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Sample text

I put my basin on a chair beside my bed, folded my blue-nailed fingers across my breast, made my teeth chatter from time to time, and thus awaited the moment when somebody would come to look for me. That happened rather late, for my parents loved to lie abed, and so two or three school hours had passed before it was noticed that I was still in the house. Then my mother came upstairs and into the room to ask if I was ill. I looked at her wide-eyed, as though in my dazed condition it was hard for me to tell who she was.

In build he was short and thick-set. He had thin, prematurely grey hair, which he wore parted over one ear so that almost all of it was brushed across the crown. He was clean-shaven, with a hook nose and thin, compressed lips, and he wore large round glasses in celluloid frames. His face was further remarkable for the fact that it was bare above the eyes; that is, there were no eyebrows; his whole appearance gave the impression of a sharp and bitter turn of mind; there was proof of this in the splenetic interpretation he used to give to his own name.

All this I succeeded in reproducing so faithfully that the family, and especially my father, burst into enthusiastic applause. Being in high spirits because of the beneficial effects of the baths, he conceived the following little joke with the connivance of the longhaired, almost inarticulate little conductor. They bought a small, cheap violin and plentifully greased the bow with Vaseline. As a rule little attention was paid to my appearance, but now I was dressed in a pretty sailor suit complete with gold buttons and lanyard, silk stockings, and shiny patent-leather shoes.

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