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The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
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The Magician's Assistant

by Ann Patchett

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2,365952,661 (3.74)169
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Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
This book wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I really, really liked it. Great writing with more focus on characters than plot? Gets me every time. ( )
  AngelClaw | Jan 29, 2016 |
Sabine is devastated when her husband and partner Parsifal dies unexpectedly. As an AIDS patient, she always knew that he would die, but she believed they had a couple more years. While the aneurysm that does kill him is blessed quick in comparison to the slow decline of AIDS, she struggles to come to terms with his loss. When his lawyer reveals that Parsifal has a hidden past that no one in his life knows about, this sends her even more off kilter and leads her to question everything about her life.

While the fantastic storytelling ability of Patchett is still present in this book, it ultimately just didn't stand up to the amazing Bel Canto. I was intrigued by the storyline, and like Sabine curious to discover who Parsifal really was. All of the characters were well-written and realistically flawed, though I felt like we never really got to know any of them except Sabine. I did feel the ending was a bit out of place and didn't understand some of the choices the author made. I felt that Bel Canto had this same problem, so perhaps it's just a failing of the author to know how to properly end a book. In the end though, I would recommend this book, though if you are a fan of Bel Canto, you should lower your expectations. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (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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