Golden Boy: Beethoven's Youth (Hardcover)

Golden Boy: Beethoven's Youth By Mikael Ross, Nika Knight (Translated by) Cover Image

Golden Boy: Beethoven's Youth (Hardcover)

By Mikael Ross, Nika Knight (Translated by)

$29.99


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Ludwig van Beethoven created music that moves and inspires us to this day; his very name sparks a melody in the ear. But are you born a genius? This graphic biography asks: “Who was Beethoven before he became ‘Beethoven?’"


A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


Master cartoonist Mikael Ross (The Thud) tells the story of Beethoven from 1778 to his first major public appearance in Vienna in 1795. It begins when the family is living a difficult life in Bonn. Father Johann battles with alcoholism and is deep in debt. Only young Ludwig and his talent at the piano offer any hope for the future — if only he would stop composing his own pieces and just play what’s expected of him.


Author Ross was asked to do a small comic for the Beethoven Society. Through this opportunity, he discovered the diaries of the baker’s son that lived downstairs from Beethoven’s family, the content of which inspired Golden Boy. As in his previous book, The Thud, Ross skillfully mixes humor with empathy and pure social drama, crafting a coming-of-age story that transcends its biographical subject matter. His colorful, expressive style and mastery of the language of comics are perfectly suited to the tall task of capturing Beethoven’s timeless music visually.



Mikael Ross is a Berlin-based cartoonist and tailor. Ross was the recipient of the very first graphic novel scholarship from Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Nika Knight is a translator and writer living in southern Maine.
Product Details ISBN: 9781683965510
ISBN-10: 1683965515
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Publication Date: June 7th, 2022
Pages: 194
Language: English
A fast and furious contemporary take on the upbringing of a tortured genius.
— Publishers Weekly

The lively artwork has an exaggerated and colorful style, and the expressive scenes depicting Beethoven's music are a wonderfully chaotic representation of the composing process.
— Booklist

Artfully complex and lovingly rendered — an eminently re-readable story of a person and a place.
— Solrad

The childhood of Beethoven comes to vivid life in Golden Boy. ... Any fan of classical music will discover a new appreciation for comics.

— Broadway Direct