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Millroy the Magician by Paul Theroux
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Millroy the Magician (original 1993; edition 1994)

by Paul Theroux

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250745,873 (3.17)30
Member:nemoman
Title:Millroy the Magician
Authors:Paul Theroux
Info:New York: Random House, c1994. 437 p. ; 24 cm.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:american lit

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Millroy the Magician by Paul Theroux (1993)

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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina was enthralled with Millroy the Magician at the Barnstable County Fair. After all, he once turned a girl from the audience into a glass of milk and drank her, But when Jilly stepped into the wickerwork coffin during a performance, she had no idea he would transform her dreary life into something truly magical, and a touch bizarre.
For Millroy was no ordinary magician. He could smell the future, and Jilly was going to be part of it. Yet not even Millroy could foresee how far determination and a dream could take him, as he and his new young assistant hit the road -and the airwaves -- to save America's unhealthy appetite and floundering soul...
  Lake_O_UCC | Aug 6, 2017 |
Millroy is a charmingly-flawed character who nevertheless convinces himself that it's critical to try to be heroic ALL the time - he is successful part the time. I would like to see someone compare this book to Nabokov's _Lolita_...And Millroy is by far one of Theroux's most thoroughly realized characterizations. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Can't finish it, too wierd and disturbing. ( )
  jenngv | Sep 16, 2009 |
I enjoy Theroux's nonfiction much more than his novels. This one wasn't bad though ... ( )
  bherner | Oct 1, 2006 |
A little too bizarre for my tastes. I was never quite sure until the end if he was supposed to be a real magician. I don't think I would recommend this book. ( )
  Crewman_Number_6 | Jul 30, 2006 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
One can only hope that the magical transformation in the final chapter may linger with readers long after too easily conjured biblical satire fades away, and that those who reach the end of Mr. Theroux's three-ring circus of a novel see its final act as worth the price of admission.
 
Theroux's satire--waggish, broad, ambitious, spotty--keeps all the characters but Millroy and Jilly at a cool distance, and the relationship between them isn't nearly as engaging as it's apparently meant to be. Even fans may find themselves glancing at their watches.
added by John_Vaughan | editKirkus (Jul 21, 1993)
 
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I was supposed to meet my father at the Barnstable County Fair, and in a way I did, though he was not Dada.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449911977, Paperback)

Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina was enthralled with Millroy the Magician at the Barnstable County Fair. After all, he once turned a girl from the audience into a glass of milk and drank her, But when Jilly stepped into the wickerwork coffin during a performance, she had no idea he would transform her dreary life into something truly magical, and a touch bizarre.

For Millroy was no ordinary magician. He could smell the future, and Jilly was going to be part of it. Yet not even Millroy could foresee how far determination and a dream could take him, as he and his new young assistant hit the road -and the airwaves -- to save America's unhealthy appetite and floundering soul....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:37 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Jilly Farina is fourteen, but so small that she wears younger kids' clothes. Her father is drunk on the day of the Barnstable County Fair, so she goes by herself, and by that night her life has been transformed. When she walks into a tent to see Millroy the Magician, his eyes lighten from brown to green and fasten upon her. He performs miracles in front of Jilly's spellbound eyes and tells her he wants to eat her. He spirits her into his trailer, and for the first time in her forlorn young life, Jilly feels safe. He tells her that he has command over nine bodily functions, that he will train her to be his assistant, and that he will give her a sequined costume. But this is only the beginning. Millroy is a man like no other, a magician not simply of mere conjuring, but of true, baffling magic. He is a healer, too, a vegetarian and health fanatic with a mission to change the eating habits of his beloved United States. In search of the perfect platform, he finds it in television as an evangelical preacher, touting hygiene and the simple pure foods mentioned in the Bible. From fairground magician to cult leader, Millroy is unstoppable. In his portrait of a man who is part genius, part eccentric, and part miracle worker, and of his complete and uneasy relationship with young Jilly, Paul Theroux has created a remarkable parable of America today. A work of breathtaking imagination and resonance, Millroy the Magician displays the author at the height of his fictional powers, and in Jilly and Millroy he has created two truly unforgettable characters.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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