John James Todd is vain and foolish, rakish and charming, odd and exasperating. He is a man of many talents, and many failings. Born in 1899, Todd wends his picaresque way thorugh the twentieth century. He survives the trenches of WWI, becomes a pioneer filmaker in Weimer Berlin, pursues a see-sawing career on movie sets in London and Hollywood, and works on his masterpiece-a six hour epic on the life of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Along the way Todd loves and loses several women, fathers and forgets 4 children, earns and dissapates several fortunes. Ultimately forced in to exile by Hollywood's McCarthy madness, Todd sets down to write his autobiography. The result is The New Confessions, the chaotic tale of a self-proclaimed genius.