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Das Genie

The Genius

Published by Diogenes as Das Genie
English Title: The Genius

This literary debut of lucid, elegant prose, entertaining and vivid, tells the life story of William James Sidis (1898 – 1944), a ›wonder child‹ torn between the expectations of society and the desire for self-definition.

Boston, 1910: Eleven-year old William James Sidis is hailed as the ›wonder boy from Harvard‹ by the American press. His father Boris, a well-known psychologist with the burning ambition to better the world through education, is jubilant. He has trained William since birth according to a special learning programme. By using the ›Sidis Method‹, he claims, all children could develop the same abilities as his son. But as William grows older, he breaks away from his parents and his upbringing. He refuses to put his intelligence at the disposal of a society which is ruled by exploitation, greed for profit and military force. Instead, he tries to shape his life according to his own ideas – with unflinching determination.

A historical and at the same time politically highly topical biographical novel as well as a great debut.


General Fiction
656 pages
2017

978-3-257-06998-3

World rights are handled by Diogenes

Film rights are handled by Diogenes.

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»The incredible story of William James Sidis' life, a genius, rebel and a visionary ahead of his time. Klaus Cäsar Zehrer wrote an outstanding book, as funny as it is clever and surprisingly topical.«

Benedict Wells

». . . so gripping that you do not want to put it down even after the first page. [. . .] The author weaves a magnificent novel of development.«

Annette Bruhns / Spiegel Wissen, Hamburg

»It is a wunderkind novel that pulls out all the artistic stops, gripping, informative, grotesque and clever, a book about the art of the perfect life and its tragic failure, practically crying out for a film version.«

Michael Braun / Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

»This well-researched and brilliantly fictionalised debut novel is an engrossing read. […] This is an eloquent, clever and poignant book which will enthral a wide range of readers.«

New Books in German, London

»Klaus Cäsar Zehrer has recognized the potential of his [William Sidis’] story and has been working on it for nine years. Now the result shows the author’s potential.«

Michael Luisier / SRF 1 Kultur , Zurich

»Author Zehrer [. . .] has not invented this incredible life story but created it from a wealth of literature about William Sidis and his father Boris. From this, he distilled an exceptional novel.«

Lilo Solcher / Augsburger Allgemeine

»A great joy to read – researched in an outstanding way, told in a virtuoso manner and explosive in terms of social policy.«

Brigitte Woman, Hamburg

»Klaus Cäsar Zehrer wrote a fabulous novel, clever and thrilling.«

Alexander Kissler / Cicero, Berlin

»The incredible story of William James Sidis' life, a genius, rebel and a visionary ahead of his time. Klaus Cäsar Zehrer wrote an outstanding book, as funny as it is clever and surprisingly topical.«

Benedict Wells

». . . so gripping that you do not want to put it down even after the first page. [. . .] The author weaves a magnificent novel of development.«

Annette Bruhns / Spiegel Wissen, Hamburg

»It is a wunderkind novel that pulls out all the artistic stops, gripping, informative, grotesque and clever, a book about the art of the perfect life and its tragic failure, practically crying out for a film version.«

Michael Braun / Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

»This well-researched and brilliantly fictionalised debut novel is an engrossing read. […] This is an eloquent, clever and poignant book which will enthral a wide range of readers.«

New Books in German, London

»Klaus Cäsar Zehrer has recognized the potential of his [William Sidis’] story and has been working on it for nine years. Now the result shows the author’s potential.«

Michael Luisier / SRF 1 Kultur , Zurich

»Author Zehrer [. . .] has not invented this incredible life story but created it from a wealth of literature about William Sidis and his father Boris. From this, he distilled an exceptional novel.«

Lilo Solcher / Augsburger Allgemeine

»A great joy to read – researched in an outstanding way, told in a virtuoso manner and explosive in terms of social policy.«

Brigitte Woman, Hamburg

»Klaus Cäsar Zehrer wrote a fabulous novel, clever and thrilling.«

Alexander Kissler / Cicero, Berlin
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