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The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett

The Magician's Assistant (1997)

by Ann Patchett

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2,335942,697 (3.74)163

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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Loved the characters. Loved the writing. There was a lot that kept me entranced with the book, despite the occasional slow bits. I thought the development of Sabine was handled wonderfully, as her love story slowly unfolded. The depiction of life in Nebraska in winter was great, too, showing the grimness and isolation of a small town enfolded in snow through the eyes of a California girl. I thought using the dreams was strange, and by the end, when Kitty appeared in one, too, I knew that the technique had just gone too far. Well worth the read; I actually liked it better than I had expected to. ( )
  TerriBooks | Oct 9, 2015 |
I liked everything except the end. Is this turning into an Ann Patchett pattern? ( )
  MizPurplest | Sep 21, 2015 |
3.5 stars

a worthwhile read, though the ending was a bit of a disappointment. ( )
  mkclane | Jul 31, 2015 |
I think this may be my favorite of Patchett's books. I would rank it above Bel Canto, which I really really liked.

About halfway through the book, the locale changes. After reading a bit of the second half, I began to wonder what the rest of the book would hold, as it seemed the story had been told. Boy was I wrong. Just pages after having this thought, the unexpected began to happen.

Good read! ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
My Sunday afternoon read this week, and a bit of a disappointment. I liked the concept, but the writing made it all come across as far too neat and straightforward. How lovely life is in Los Angeles where you don't even need to do your own cooking; how dreary it is in Nebraska, where they have to shop at Walmart. Yes, right.
On the positive side, this is a mainstream American novel published nearly twenty years ago that features a gay couple (albeit both dead) among its main characters. And the work of the magician's assistant is presented very convincingly.
On the other hand, the plot moves along with all the inevitability of a rumbling American freight train, and the dream sequences that are supposed to inject a bit of tension come over more like advertisements for luxury travel. ( )
  thorold | Jun 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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to Lucy Grealy and Elizabeth McCracken
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Parsifal is dead.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156006219, Paperback)

The Magician's Assistant sustains author Ann Patchett's proven penchant for crafting colorful characters and marrying the ordinary with the fantastic. When Parsifal, Sabine's husband of more than 20 years and the magician of the title, suddenly dies, she begins to discover how she's glimpsed him only through smoke and mirrors. He has managed to keep hidden the existence of a family in Nebraska--his mother, two sisters, and two nephews. Sabine approaches them hungrily, as if they are a bridge to her beloved husband and a key to the mysteries he left behind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

What will become of Sabine now that Parsifal, her guiding magician, is dead? Returning to the place of Parsifal's birth, she makes startling discoveries about herself.

» see all 4 descriptions

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