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Juggler, The [Paperback]

Sebastian Beaumont
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
Price: £7.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

3 Feb 2009
Mark did what people aren t supposed to do. He left his home, his job, his wife, his friends, his seven month old baby... everything. He set out with only two things. One was a flyer advertising a nightclub, with an address written on the back in spidery pencil. The other was a small, hard bag of the sort that photographers carry their lenses in. But this bag did not contain photographic equipment. It contained £40,000 in cash. But it is not so easy to start again. Mark must find his way in a new town where no one will talk about their past, and where mobile phones don't work. He soon discovers that this is not all that's strange about this nameless town. Friendships turn into a web of deceit and motives are always suspect. Mark's journey, both physical and metaphysical, takes him through layers of reality and towards refuge of an unexpected kind.

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Juggler, The + Thirteen
Price For Both: £13.25

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Myrmidon Books; Export e. edition (3 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905802277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905802272
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,283,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"You may well find that the 'one extra chapter' you were going to read ends up being three or four." --"Ciao "on "Thirteen"

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Last year one of my favourite new books, and really deserving of five stars, was Sebastian Beaumont's debut novel, the marvellous Thirteen. Framed around the strange life of a depressed night-cabbie, it was multilayered, darkly surreal and edgy. It played tricks with your mind, (which with hindsight reminds me of master-mentalist Derren Brown's Trick or Treat TV series - mostly the tricks though!).

Could The Juggler be as good? Definitely! The story this time is about mid-life crisis and one man's journey through it.

Mark, a bored engineer, is provoked by a couple of strange occurrences to abandon his family and seven month old son. A comedian rants at him in a club and seems to know all his personal details, then a man gives him a bag, which he later finds contains forty grand, and tells him to take it to Jonathan. Armed with just a flyer for a mysterious `Club Covert', Mark takes a train and ends up at the seaside, with just the clothes on his back - and the cash...

I found it impossible to write about the story any further without making it seem banal, because that is something it emphatically is not. Saying that Mark finds an attitude of `You're not from around these parts are you?' is not doing it any justice. It's much weirder than that - Mark's mind plays tricks on him, and moments of paranoia and guilt keep changing everything. Added to this, the underlying air of menace leads Mark to seek refuge which in turn has its own mind-bending effects.

It's everything that Thirteen is, but pushing different psychological buttons - totally gripping!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but not as good as Thirteen... 5 Aug 2009
I am a big fan of Beaumont's previous book `Thirteen', which cleverly melded a realistic monologue of a late-night taxi driver, with surreal events and insights. The Juggler is, I believe, intended as a partner to that book, although there are no overlapping characters.

There are similarities between the two books. The protagonist is placed out of his comfort zone, and the set-up is sufficiently realistic to work. He then follows a series of encounters and mishaps in the search for happiness, contentment, and/or a meaningful sense of self.

If I had not read Thirteen, I would have thought this a good effort. Compared to that previous book, it is slightly disappointing. The story is a little too linear, the changing points a little too signposted. There is not the sense of reality slightly distorted, that made Thirteen so enjoyable. There are also a couple of plot developments near the end that are implausible, and look shoehorned in to achieve a pre-ordained outcome. And endings are usually the part we take with us most clearly.

The main character is a little lightweight - possibly not enough backstory for us to form a convincing picture of him. Some of the details - such as the ongoing house renovations - go on a little too long, and a little too obviously.

All in all, this was a middling effort, and slight backward step from Beaumont's previous novel. A deeper sense of almost-tangible unreality would have served this story better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strange 5 Jan 2014
By ymb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this strange story but the ending surprised me as I thought (wrongly) that I had worked out what was going on !
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very odd indeed 6 Feb 2011
This is a strangely compulsive book. I began reading it and I put it down deciding I didn't really want to be bothered completing it. But it nagged at me, nudging me every now and then. So I picked it up again and continued reading. I have to say I didn't take to Mark, the hero (if that's the right word) at all, but nevertheless felt compelled to follow him on his rite of passage journey. This is fiction obviously, but I got the distinct impression that even within this fiction we were not being told the truth. Much of the plot is far fetched, and the hero's reactions to events within the narrative are implausible. Despite this, the reader is drawn along with the concept of this very unusual novel. Reluctantly recommended, but not too enthusiastically.
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