The Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man
This is Mann's last novel and his most humorous one. The story of Felix Krull is filled with comic episodes worthy of the Mann's story-telling mastery. Mann based the novel on an expanded version of a story he had written in 1911and he managed to finish, and publish part one of the Confessions of Felix Krull, but due to his death in 1955 the saga of the morally flexible and irresistible conman, Felix, remains unfinished. In spite of that it is still one of the best novels about the question of identity. Early in the story Felix learns to deal with circumstances by changing his character as needed and he continues to shift identities becoming whomever he needs to be in all the ensuing predicaments that he encounters. It seems that Mann still had more story-telling magic left at the end of his life after World War II and decades after his great beginnings with Buddenbrooks and Death in Venice. The only regret is that Mann was unable to finish the novel; yet, the "early years" of Felix Krull still amount to a small masterpiece.