The New Confessions Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The New Confessions.
This section contains 464 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The New Confessions Summary & Study Guide Description

The New Confessions Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The New Confessions by William Boyd (writer).

John's mother dies during childbirth and he spends his entire life believing he is to blame, and that others blame him. John grows up with his father, Innes, who is a physician, and an older brother, Thompson. He is raised by a housekeeper, Oonagh. When John is a teenager his father sends him away to a boarding school in the hope that John will step up his academic efforts. By the time World War I breaks out, John has developed an infatuation for his widowed maternal aunt, Faye Hophouse. He runs away from school and goes to her home where he impetuously announces that he's joining the military. With no real option open to him, he does so. He eventually encounters a friend of the family, Donald, who takes John in to work on a project filming for documentaries about the war. John soon discovers a great desire to be creative rather than filming the dry informational scenes of others working on the project.

John is captured and held as a prisoner where one of the soldiers, Karl-Heinz, gives John a book. John and Karl-Heinz become good friends and when John is released from the military he begins work in the film industry. He finds a backer and sets out to make a three-part movie from the book, "Confessions." Karl-Heinz is to star as is a beautiful young actress, Doon Bogan. The first part is finished just as sound comes on the scene.

Over the coming years, John marries and divorces, has four children and laments the loss of his youngest son, Hereford, though it seems more like wistful thinking than fact. John learns that Doon has established a new life for herself in America and he visits but discovers they have little in common now and that Doon isn't open to renewing their relationship.

At one point in his career, John returns to Europe as a war correspondent during World War II. While there, a Native American who is driving John around discovers a prisoner who has a pocket filled with severed fingers and jewelry. The Native American kills the prisoner and he and John agree to say the man had tried to escape.

Eventually John returns to America where he's denounced as a member of the Communist Party. He discovers a man named Smee is behind his persecution. He later discovers someone is asking questions about the prisoner shot by Two Dogs Running and knows Smee is behind it. A miscommunication with a private investigator ends in Smee's apparent death. John is never certain Smee is dead but moves to a secluded villa where he hopes to avoid being blamed in Smee's murder. As the story draws to a close, John is certain Smee is nearby and settles in to wait.

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This section contains 464 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The New Confessions Study Guide
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