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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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2,209812,939 (3.74)149
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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I love Ann Patchett but if I wasn't familiar with her type of storytelling I couldn't have finished this. Premise is incredibly boring and the easy, limitless wealth was unrelatable (ha). I thought the magician bits were way too sensationalized. That being said I did enjoy the story, and mostly just wish the author had thrown in a very hot scene near the end ;) ( )
  twerkysandwich | Jul 10, 2014 |
I'm not sure that I liked the ending (which was maybe meant to be open-ended but felt rather abrupt), but I loved the message the book sends out. Family is what you make it and love is what you make it. Yes, you can be straight, married to someone who is gay and happily in love with the other man in your house. They can love each other, you can love them and it isn't full of the typical love triangle junk that most books in this three-people-in-one-house situation will throw at you. Brilliant, just brilliant and such a welcome relief.

Family grief is the key of this book. A man's genetic family is missing him greatly, not just because he disappeared on them, but because he died and they have only just found out. What happens after they contact his wife is a pure journey in emotional discovery and acceptance, without being at all overpowering or so dripping with said emotions that the pages are soggy with your own tears. Easy to see how it got the attention of the Women's Prize list makers. ( )
  mirrani | Jun 30, 2014 |
Great story, great characters...almost the perfect novel on many levels. ( )
  JosephKing6602 | May 10, 2014 |
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 |
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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)

» see all 4 descriptions

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