The Magician's Assistant Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 May 2008
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From the Back Cover
In the world of illusion, things are rarely what they seem. But it still comes as a surprise to Sabine after the death of Parsifal, with whom she has worked for twenty years, when the magician's mother and two sisters appear from nowhere to request her help. Accepting their plea, she uproots from her beloved Los Angeles to the frozen wastes of Nebraska. There she learns the truth about Parsifal's family, and also discovers her own unimagined magical powers – powers that may help her find the love she has always been denied.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three books of nonfiction. She has won many prizes, including Britain's Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the co-owner of Parnassus Books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Once we discover what some of that truth is, however, we begin to see a more complex situation. Parsifal was married to Sabine, but the two of them lived with Phan, Parsifal's gay, true lover. Guy, the boy his family knew, was instrumental the death of his father. And so it goes on: Sabine, Dot Fetters the mother and Kitty and Bertie the sisters, each adding to the picture and discovering new ways of looking at the man they had loved.
Criticism has been made of this book for its lack of plot, and if big plot is what you are looking for, you had better look elsewhere. This book is about character, about truth and the nature of love; you might think you were looking at an illusion, and then find that you were looking in a mirror instead. As any magician knows, the truth revealed has no impact until the illusion has been well set-up, but the set-up may be a slow and subtle process. That is what this book is about.
I want particularly to mention Patchett's perfect translation to the page of the too-large physicality and grunting non-verbal communication of Kitty's adolescent sons. Witty, literate adolescents are one thing to write, but these rather more realistic ones are a real achievement. Her writing goes beyond words.
Definitely recommended, and responsible, like I needed it, for adding another author to my "get everything she's ever written" list.
Sabine's long term showbusiness partner and sometime husband, Parsifal, has died, following almost on the heels of the death of Parsifal's true love, Phan, who happens to be a bloke. Sabine is left feeling empty and desolate in their LA home but is still faced with the task of tidying up Parsifal's financial matters. It's then that she discovers his family, who he claimed were dead, are in fact alive and well, living in Nebraska.
And that's about as much of the plot as I'm giving away because it's a delicate thing which is best left to unfold in its own time, like the blooming of a rare orchid.
All the sleight of hand and illusion allusions have been used up already but they hit the nail on the head. Part of the charm of this book is the way it leads you in one direction, making you think you have the measure of a character, then bam! you realise you were wrong all along. It's not overdone and there's more to it than just that. There's some very clever subtle writing throughout that left me thinking about certain passages long after I'd finished them. I actually had to leave it several days before writing this review because I was still getting scenes straight in my head.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to people who enjoy character driven fiction, though the focus here is primarily on Sabine herself with only a few of the other characters being fleshed out. I was left feeling that a couple of the people who're central to the story don't become fully rounded but that's such a little thing overall.
Readers who like Anne Tyler's books will also like this.
A few days after the funeral Parsifal’s lawyer informs Sabine that Parsifal had left a considerable amount of money to his mother and two sisters. Parsifal was wealthy and now so was Sabine so the money being left to Parsifal’s family was of no consequence to Sabine. But what was of consequence was that Sabine was not aware of Parsifal’s family as Parsifal had never talked about his family and had led Sabine to believe that they were dead.
Soon after, Parsifal’s family visit Los Angeles to not only meet Sabine but to visit Parsifal’s (or Guy as he was christened), grave and hopefully have Sabine show them some of Parsifal’s favourite places. During this time Parsifal’s mother, Dot Fetters, invites Sabine to visit her and her family in the small town of Alliance in Nebraska and to attend her daughter’s wedding. Sabine agrees and during the visit she discovers that though she had known and loved Parsifal for 22 years and believed she knew everything about him it soon transpires that Parsifal had failed to illuminate Sabine about his early life that would define who he would become as a man.
I am going to write up front that this a delightful book that injects one with feelings of joy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A sensitive account of different manifestations of love. Ann Patchett's examination of relationships is well written and thought provoking.Published 1 month ago by paperback reader
Ann Patchett has performed a magic trick herself. I don't know what makes this book so special and such a pleasure to read. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Kath84
Read this for my book group and it was over all well received. Her style, being able to to paint clear and evocative descriptions in a concise way, was much appreciated by all.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
A novel full of character and short of plot, which cleverly reveals the magician by pulling of the layers of an onion, each new layer revealing a new view point and making you... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Thomas Douglas
This is the second Ann Patchett book I have read and I must read more. The Magicians Assistant has kept me enthralled.Published on 3 April 2014 by Brenda M. Worthington
Ann Patchett's beautiful and very original third novel opens with the sudden death of Parsifal, a magician and exotic rug salesman. His wife Sabine is stunned with grief. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2013 by Kate Hopkins
This is the first book I have read by Ann Patchett, and because I loved it so much I have bought several of her other novels. Read morePublished on 17 Aug. 2012 by hshm
This book has a bit of an unsettling feel to it, but nonetheless, the further I got into it, I did feel compelled to continue reading. Read morePublished on 22 Jun. 2012 by neverendings