The Final Testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix

Paul Sussman

‘An ebullient, eccentric and entertaining first novel by Paul Sussman, the internationally bestselling author of “The Last Secret of the Temple”, sadly his last book.’ The Guardian

‘Chaotic, surreal, tricksy and so alive… Sussman’s first written and last published novel has shades of Vonnegut, Donleavy and Golding’s Pincher Martin. Loved it.’ JONATHAN GRIMWOOD, author of The Last Banquet

The first novel Paul Sussman wrote, edited by his widow. This comic masterpiece is instantly recognisably Sussman and he worked on it carefully for years. Raphael Phoenix is nearly 100 years old and he has decided to kill himself. Not because he is particularly depressed but because 100 is enough. Before he does so he is going to confess to the 10 murders he has committed in his life. Starting with the incredibly annoying Mrs Bunshop, Phoenix works backwards in time, writing on the walls of the castle he is ending his days in, describing a murder per room, he takes you right back to when he first met his life-long love Emily, with whom he stole the Pill on his tenth birthday, the pill that is going to end his life. Born at the turn of the 20th Century this longest suicide note in history gives a history of the entire 20th Century. Hilarious, moving, gripping and insightful, this novel adds to an already incredibly impressive oeuvre and will win Sussman many new fans.

‘Novels that claim on the first page that they’re about to tell you the most extraordinary story you’ve ever heard in variably do nothing of the kind. But The Final Testimony of Raphael Ignatius Phoenix more than lives up to its promise. […] the book is as darkly funny as it is original.’ John Preston, Mail on Sunday

‘a rollicking good read […] Sussman had a wonderful eye for detail and ear for dialogue. You’ll loose yourself in the company of Phoenix and his manic energy and frank, black humour.’ A Little Bird: An Insider’s Guide to London,

‘The novel does comes with a warning pre attached, if you’re at all self-conscious, do not read this in a public place. I’ve lost count of the amount of times when I’ve woken my quietly sleeping partner from his slumber because I’ve been shaking, or crying – or both – with laughter.’ (5 stars)


  • Transworld UK (Doubleday)
  • Droemer Knaur Germany
  • Psichogios Greece
  • Bard Bulgaria
  • Cappelen Damm Norway
  • Marti Turkey
  • WF Howes Audio
  • Transworld/Bantam Press ebook in USA

Material: finished copies (416pp)