The Magician's Assistant

The Magician s Assistant Sabine twenty years a magician s assistant to her handsome charming husband is suddenly a widow In the wake of his death she finds he has left a final trick a false identity and a family allegedly l

Sabine twenty years a magician s assistant to her handsome, charming husband is suddenly a widow In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine s life and set her on an adventure of unraveling hisSabine twenty years a magician s assistant to her handsome, charming husband is suddenly a widow In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine s life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.

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The Magician's Assistant

  1. Patchett was born in Los Angeles, California Her mother is the novelist Jeanne Ray.She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home Home is e stable window that opens out into the imagination Patchett attended high school at St Bernard Academy, a private, non parochial Catholic school for girls run by the Sisters of Mercy Following graduation, she attended Sarah Lawrence College and took fiction writing classes with Allan Gurganus, Russell Banks, and Grace Paley She later attended the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she met longtime friend Elizabeth McCracken It was also there that she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars.In 2010, when she found that her hometown of Nashville no longer had a good book store, she co founded Parnassus Books with Karen Hayes the store opened in November 2011 In 2012, Patchett was on the Time 100 list of most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.

599 Reply to “The Magician's Assistant”

  1. I know you are thinking, is there a book you don t like, Laura Here s the deal If I don t like a book I can barely read it, much less finish it So if I do read it I like it, in varying degrees, but I like it So tonight I read the Magician s Assistant, by Ann Patchett If you have read Bel Canto, and you should have, though I m not sure I m spelling it right at the moment then you know her style You get hypnotised by the story, by the language, you get into this rhythm that you can t break until y [...]

  2. Is this really Ann Patchett While the story was mildly intriguing, I couldn t really like the main character Sabine seemed too satisfied with living a half life in love with a gay man, an assistant instead of a magician, a maker of architectural models rather than an architect, etc The literary symbolism also seemed clumsy and obvious last name Fetters, for example Finally, and most annoying to me as I live here, the ridiculous caricature of Midwesterners made me want to scream COME ON the lands [...]

  3. This book surprised me Throughout the whole thing, I was never exactly sure how much I was enjoying it, and yet I couldn t wait to pick the book back up and continue reading By time the book was done, I wanted to read , and wanted the story to continue.The story itself is strange, very strange, but it draws you in immediately It s the story of a woman named Sabine who is coming to terms with exploring the hidden past of her husband, a famous gay magician after his death You wonder how this story [...]

  4. This is my second Patchett novel, and I liked it even less than the previous one I read State of Wonder.First, I totally misunderstood the premise of this novel I thought our heroine Sabine s lovely hottie magician husband dies, and then she discovers he was secretly gay, and then discovers he lied about his family being dead and seeks them out blah blah Instead, the story is that Sabine s lovely hottie magician husband is openly gay and only marries her in the last year so she may inherit his t [...]

  5. I enjoyed reading the book, but after reading it I couldn t say that I loved it hence, three stars Sabine, the main character, spends time with her dead husband s family, none of whom she knew existed The reader is supposed to come along on the journey with her to discover the missing parts of her longtime friend spouse, but I didn t gain any new insights to him from her visit back to his roots The West Coast magician reinvented himself too well to have any connection to the Midwestern teenager [...]

  6. I have really become an admirer of Patchett s writing, and this book was a close second to Bel Canto, which I adored The Magician s Assistant is Sabine, and she is mourning the sudden loss of her husband, Parsifal But the story goes deeper than that Parsifal is gay, and shortly after the death of his lover, Phan, he marries Sabine to ensure her security in the event of his death Sabine had been Parsifal s long time assistant in his magic act, but importantly, they shared a bond of friendship th [...]

  7. The Magician s Assistant Ann PatchettI found the trio of Sabine, Parsifal and Phan all too good, too unflawed, too beautiful, and Sabine s adoration of Parsifal for 22 years was a little hard to fathom There was apparently no heartache, no discord In addition, Sabine had been so in love with the glamorous, gay Parsifal that she had failed to realize that she was really gay herself, and thus her attraction to Kitty at the end That was a bit of a stretch this beautiful, personable, intelligent, ta [...]

  8. I picked this book up a few times and lost interest before finishing the first page But when I finally got past the first three or four pages, I was really hooked This characters are just so, so compelling They re actually so compelling that when I was partway through the book I almost lit a candle at church for two of the characters in it, temporarily confusing them with real people Which I _think_ is a testament to how well written and absorbing the book is than to how socially maladjusted I [...]

  9. Digital audio book performed by Karen Ziemba3.5 From the book jacket Sabine twenty years a magician s assistant to her handsome, charming husband is suddenly a widow In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine s life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Neb [...]

  10. It is rare to find a literary page turner, but Ann Patchett never fails to give us exactly that Her writing is elegant, sophisticated and quiet it never gets in the way of the story The closer I got to the end of this book, the obsessed I became with it, wanting to make sure that everyone was going to be okay, at least in some sense of the word The Magician s Assistant follows the same pattern of Patchett s other novels An unsuspecting character is thrust into a world full of people he she neve [...]

  11. review originally posted at nomadreader The basics At the beginning of the novel, Parcifal, the magician of the novel s title, dies suddenly Sabine, the assistant of the title, is left to grieve.My thoughts After having loved State of Wonder, Bel Canto, and Run, I was convinced Ann Patchett was one of my literary soul sisters who could do no wrong Sadly, I didn t connect with The Magician s Assistant at all, and I struggled to even finish the novel My problems with this novel really begin with S [...]

  12. This morning, my belligerent son used his well honed fingernails to pierce a hole in my hand, drawing blood When I felt the pain, I smacked his hand away in self defense I don t feel like talking to him, or even looking at him, for a week I think he feels the same He is six, and he has beautiful eyes.Of course, were he to be diagnosed with brain cancer, my heart would explode and die, and my will to live would wane faster than you could say intentional overdose Can a person overdose on Advil It [...]

  13. Five stars with reluctance since I couldn t describe what the attraction this book had for me Whether it was the grass is greener concept or we re all the same, or the draw of magic The sad life of Sabine moved to a new chapter although she will likely continue to live propelled with other people s direction.I absolutely loved the character of the rabbit who seemed a cross between a cat and dog.

  14. In my analysis of this book, I have to remind myself that Patchett had written it prior to her amazing, Bel Canto and her most recent, Run The latter included flat characterizations,and was filled with implausible coincidences and did not meet my expectations for suspense , as was publicized In this novel, Patchett had already demonstrated her talent for fashioning her language to convey the complexities of her characters emotions and actions She was so adept at this in Bel Canto , one could alm [...]

  15. I have read other books by Ann and really liked them, she is a great writer and I will continue to read by her The main character in this book is a woman who has been in love with a gay man, the magician to her magician s assistant, for over 20 years The man and his lover have just died of AIDS and she is left behind in the house the three of them had shared She is a bit of a pathetic creature, I had to really work sometimes to respect her, even though I think she is intelligent and grieving I [...]

  16. This was the 5th Ann Patchett novel I ve read, but the 2nd of those chronologically It wasting Within the first 50 pages or so, you know quite a few things about Sabine view spoiler She s lived in Los Angeles most of her life She could have been an architect, but instead she makes architectural models She s been a magician s assistant for over 20 years She was in love with Parsifal, the gay magician who was also quite wealthy from his successful rug stores Parsifal and his even wealthy partner [...]

  17. With The Magicians Assistant, Ann Patchett has performed the proverbial Hat Trick with a tale that is filled with beautiful writing but contains nothing new in the way of plot By diverting our attention with conversations with the dead, flashbacks, dreams and vicarious travel being experienced by Sabine, the title character of this piece and widow of Parsifal the Magician, she manages to make us think we are experiencing a tale of substance when, in fact, it is really all just smoke and mirrors [...]

  18. 1 2 14 Rereading an old favorite is interesting I still love this book, still love the glittering magic of LA and the gritty, land bound Nebraska setting What surprised me was how my perception changed I loved this book at 19, then at 22, then at 24 Everyone felt so much older then reading it now, I m older than the youngest main character in the story, Bertie, and what hit hardest was how this was a story of grown ups not knowing what the hell they re doing and making poor decisions But then th [...]

  19. We meet Sabine as she mourns the death of her husband, Parsifal The two had partnered on stage in a magic act But this was not a typical marriage Although the two loved each other dearly, they did not marry until about a year prior, after a decades long friendship Parsifal was gay, and was dying of AIDS, the disease that had taken his lover, Phan When a lawyer comes to Sabine with details of the will, she learns that everything Parsifal had told her about his upbringing was a lie His mother and [...]

  20. Went down like pablum Bland, but healthy, just like a Hallmark movie Everyone is good and wonderful and life affirming except for a couple of domestic abuser men Sabine s magician husband, Parsifal, has just died at the beginning of this story It soon becomes clear that she has loved him for the 20 years that she has served as his assistant on stage, despite knowing he was gay She lived with Parsifal and his lover for a long time in LA and only married him recently as his prolonged illness becam [...]

  21. This is the first book by Ann Patchett I ve ever read It won t be my last.For 20 years Sabine has been the assistant to the brilliant magician, Parsifal, with whom she has also been obsessively in love But Parsifal is gay, and his lover, Phan, is part of this trio of characters Unsavory as this may sound, it seems to work well for them.Then Phan dies Parsifal, feeling his own death is nearing marries Sabine so that she can inherit his and Phan s estates But, once she s a widow, the grieving Sabi [...]

  22. I found this to be a quick, somewhat compelling read, but it really fell flat for me when there was no good resolution I expected the ending to be much significant meaningful profound than it was instead, it felt really empty I also predicted it about 1 3 of the way through the book, and it played out in a really hollow way, I thought Probably not worth reading if you haven t already, though it s quick so you could always try it w out wasting much time.

  23. Maybe I am biased when it comes to Ann Patchett but I just loved loved loved this book Wonderful story about Sabina who is wife, partner and friend for than 20 years to Parsifal, a magician After Parsifal dies Sabine finds out that he has a Mother, two sisters and two nephews living in Nebraska that she never knew anything about The book is about love and relationships, family, magic, secrets and friendship So beautifully written, just loved it highly recommend.

  24. My favorite Ann Patchett book I ve read since Run I prefer it to Commonwealth, which seems a bit off balance, maybe because of the autobiographical elements The premise is rich and I m really sad to leave these characters Took me a little while to like it, but I was definitely a fan by the end.

  25. I listened to this one and enjoyed it a lot But it bothered me, too But cuz I love AP I find how she creates sentences quite amazing I find I really pay attention to things I usually don t, if it was any ol author even ones I adore Just something about AP I wonder about her brain, why did she say that like that , ooo that was an odd string of words, but it worked etc, etc It was cool how AP seemed to want to know about magic, about people who build really tiny architectural models, about people [...]

  26. Absolutely terrible Hard to believe it s the same Ann Patchett who wrote such masterpieces as Bel Canto, Commonwealth and State of Wonder It s unfortunate, too, because the premise was such a promising one a woman loses her husband and learns about him in death than she ever did in life But I found myself painfully bored by Sabine s journey even the few unexpected things she discovers about her husband are only minimally revelatory Perhaps surprising is the absence of that exquisite writing fo [...]

  27. Whew I ve been muddling through 2 and 3 star books for a while it was quite a relief to find this beautiful specimen I have State of Wonder on my to read list and was browsing stacks in the library by author and figured I d pick up something else by Patchett to see what I thought And I loved it This book was very compelling, beautifully written, amazingly perceptive, funny, and wise The characters were complex, the plot unfolded well, and I really only have one very small criticism I thought the [...]

  28. I ve had this on the bookshelf for a very long time All of my friends rave about Patchett s Bel Canto , which is also waiting on the shelf What s kept me from reading them is my experience reading Run by this author I read it with my book group and just didn t care for it, because of that I d been putting off reading her books I m happy to say this book remedied my aversion to reading Ann Patchett novels.Sabine is the magician s assistant, her husband, Parsifal, the magician, has just passed awa [...]

  29. Another wonderful book by Ann Patchett I love her stories and how she weaves people s lives together and around each other.

  30. I do love Ann Patchett Her writing has an ethereal, magical quality to it that completely draws the reader in no matter what the story The Magician s Assistant was the third novel of hers I read and enjoyed it almost as much as Bel Canto, her masterpiece The protagonist in this story, Sabine, being a magician assistant and somewhat magical herself in her thoughts, dreams and interactions fit so well with Patchett s surreal writing style Sabine has lost her gay husband and her best friend for the [...]

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