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The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett
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The Magician's Assistant (original 1997; edition 1998)

by Ann Patchett

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2,189None2,986 (3.74)148
Member:hemlokgang
Title:The Magician's Assistant
Authors:Ann Patchett
Info:Mariner Books (1998), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 357 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:USA, Audiobook

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The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett (1997)

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sometimes you read the exact right book at the exact right time. that happened with patchett's novel, the magician's assistant.

patchett handles the themes of love, loss, grief, family dynamics, how the past defines a person, and improbable relationships so wonderfully. there is a grace to her writing that pulls me in and, at moments, stops me in my tracks as i admire her prose. the ending was a bit of a disappointment, so i couldn't give this a full 5-stars. ( )
  DawsonOakes | Feb 25, 2014 |
From the beginning, this book pulled me into the world of Patchett's magician's assistant and left me entranced with the various landscapes and characters. Boomeranging gently between horrifyingly mundane tragedies and magical scenes of dreams and magic, the book explores the aftershocks of a man's death as those who loved him most learn about the life he experienced when not with them, and about each other.

Full of humor and beauty, the work is still one of the most transporting and realistic depictions of grief that I've seen, and Patchett's writing is wonder-full. I've seen reviewers note that the symbolism is too heavy, but I would say that, no, it's realistic to the way symbols appear and are interpreted in our everyday lives. Simply, you might not find that this work changes your life, or even provides any sort of an escape from reality. For me, though, it shows a sort of hope and a beauty in the world we all know, and in the experiences that we so often say we'd rather forget, however much they make our futures.

When I was younger, I wouldn't have appreciated this. Now, I can simply say that I find it perfect and worthwhile in every way, and that I'll be a fan of Patchett from here on out.

Absolutely recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jan 26, 2014 |
As a Nebraskan, I felt her description of the state and the people very stereotypical. Hated the ending-it was like she just got tired of writing and quit! Not a great fan of this author.. ( )
  Pmaurer | Jan 12, 2014 |
After disliking both Bel Canto and State of Wonder, I’d all but given up on Ann Patchett’s novels. A friend recommended The Magician's Assistant to me, and I'm glad she did. I didn't have the same problems with this one that I've had with others by Patchett.

Full review on Erin Reads. ( )
  erelsi183 | Nov 18, 2013 |
A woman struggles to find her way after discovering that her business partner of 20+ years and husband of only a few years had a childhood completely different from what he had told her. She goes to visit his family in effort to understand him better. He was gay and had a had long term lover. They are in love but not a physical love something much stronger and deeper. ( )
  knitwit2 | Nov 10, 2013 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:30 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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