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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mr Sebastian and the Negro Magician

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician by Daniel Wallace (author of Big Fish)

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (July 3, 2007)
ISBN-10: 038552109X

From Publishers Weekly
An inept African-American illusionist is dogged by the deal he struck with the devil in Wallace's fourth novel, a circus picaresque that barnstorms its way through the 1950s American South. Henry Walker, once the "greatest magician in the world," has been reduced to a minstrel show–like novelty act in a traveling circus. Henry's story, told by a succession of narrators—including members of the circus and a private detective—begins during the Depression, when Henry's family fell on hard times. While down and out, Henry meets and apprentices with the devilish magician Mr. Sebastian. Henry learns the secrets of magic, but his ambition and ability are crimped when his beloved sister, Hannah, disappears. The truths of Henry's and Mr. Sebastian's identities and the fate of Hannah are gradually revealed, and what appears to be a Faustian tale of a pact with the devil turns out to be something more tragic. Wallace (Big Fish; The Watermelon King) skillfully unravels the tale, and though the conclusion is both startling and inevitable, and Henry is as beguiling and enigmatic a character as Wallace has created, the milieu of carnies, hucksters, tricksters and wanderers isn't as sharp as it could be.

I've never read any Daniel Wallace books before, although I have seen the movie Big Fish which was made from his book. I saw this book reviewed by Nymeth, . Between her review and the fact that I enjoyed the movie, Big Fish, I thought I would send for this book to read.

The book does not disappoint. It is the life story of Henry Walker (and his family) told by more than one person.

First was young Henry wanting to be a magician. His mother dead, his father poor.

Then there was the Henry who went to war. No one who stayed close to Henry died in the war.

Then the Henry that returned from war and once again dabbled in magic. Can someone be brought back from the dead?

And last but not least the Henry of the time of the writing, which was around 1954.

I can't say it was what I expected. And I don't want to give away the magical secrets of the book, but I will say Mr Wallace has many things to write about, and many ways to write them.

It's doubtful you would find this book a total disappointment. If you ever read Big Fish or saw the movie, you already know that Mr Wallace knows how to tell a story. (also the author of Watermellon King)


Blogger Chris said...

I love your pictures Pat :) I really want to read this one after reading your and Nymeth's reviews! I haven't read any Wallace except for a short story that I really liked and I don't even really like short stories. I do have Watermelon King sitting on my TBR shelf though and I'm really looking forward to that one!

2:39 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't read any of his books either but I loved Big Fish and I plan on reading the book it was based on soon.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

He really does know how to tell a story! I'm glad this one did not disappoint you :) And I know what you mean, the way the story turned out was different from what I was expecting too.

3:57 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Hi Chris...ok you have to quit your job! This once a week sucks! LOL LOL..

ladytink: yeah the movie Big Fish was great! I think you'll like this, his story telling is much the same.. he has a way of telling a yarn or two

Nymeth: well.. it's not the happiest of stories LOL.. but he weaves a tale and you just have to read.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

You do find some unusual books! I have never even heard of this author but it sounds like a decent, imaginative read.

6:44 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

hi Cath: ohhh.. you've not seen the movie "Big Fish"? this is the same author. Albert Finney plays the lead character telling "his story" in that movie

7:02 PM  

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