Patchett is a solid author - good stories, well conceived with highly developed characters. Her stories do draw you in, but this one felt too "down" most of the time.
Not even "ups and downs" in the story as much as just a sad (but well depicted) reality of people struggling and not too happy.
This story could have been non-fiction or biographical in that it was too 'real' feeling in some ways.
I don't need fiction to always be happy and upbeat - but this felt like it was portraying a consistently downer theme...3/4 of the way thru, I almost didn't want to continue listening, but she is a good author and despite getting depressed listening to it, I felt committed to the story.
The reader was excellent.
The characters, story line and reading combine to make a most enjoyable experience. This is a surprising gift of a story.
Los Angeles raised Sabine's first visit to a super Wal-Mart in Nebraska.
Dot Fetters. That said, it is almost a toss up with Sabine and Kitty.
Phan, who was Parcival the Magician's partner. Phan had such an interesting life, full of drama and the tragedy of war. Yet, his character was so peaceful and loving.
This book, like all of Ann Patchett's novels, is completely unique. Where does she come up with these stories? Who would ever come up with these situations and characters? Ann Patchett, I guess. This is an earlier novel and has a lighter tone and more likable character than some of her later novels. I keep this book on my ipod and find myself going back to it over and over again. I even find myself making notes of certain sentences. Karen Ziemba reading is clear and engaging. Karen was able to get all the characters and regional accents consistently. She has an easy to listen to voice and her pace and differentiation of the many characters is wonderful. Karen Ziemba was a perfect reader for The Magician's Assistant.
At the beginning of the book, you think "This could be a great story of a magician's assistant taking over her magician's craft when he's gone."
But then you find out it's not that at all.
Even though it's not what you expect, it's an ok story. There are bits of tedium, I think, and I found myself waiting for something exciting to happen...which never does.
If I had been reading this book, I probably still would have finished it. But it would have taken me less time and I might not have felt like it took too long. As it was, I listened to the entire story mostly because I kept hoping something big would happen.
This is the third book by Patchett that I have purchased on audible. "State of Wonder" was by far the best. The others, Bel Canto and this book, have been disappointing. I thought this story was too slow, rather uneventful, and depressing. Yes, Ann Patchett can write beautifully but that is not enough to hold my attention. In both Bel Canto and the Magician's Assistant, the climax of the story takes place in the first few chapters. The rest of the book is a collection of menial interactions between semi-interesting characters and recollections of the events that took place during the climatic first few chapters. This is not a book I would recommend to others.
I'm an audiobook fiend. I'm lost without my iPod & ear buds. I have an old iPod classic 120 gig that is full of books.......<3 :0)
I am about 3/4 through & I really like the book. What is distracting to me is the music that signals the ending of 1 CD & the beginning of the next. I would think that it would be possible to edit that out. It really interrupts the flow of the book for me.
I loved State of Wonder and so decided to try another Patchett book. I was 3 hours into The Magician's Assistant and found it to be so dull I couldn't continue listening. The dialogue is well written but the characters are banal and the story is plodding. Dream sequences are tedious. Perhaps there is interesting plot development further in but I lost patience waiting for the story to get off the ground.
Wonderful and different kind of story. Love the description and detail. Throws a couple of curve balls you could never expect. Really enjoyed this book.
This was one of the worst books I've ever finished. Till the end I was hoping that maybe there is a point to this ridiculous "story" but there simply isn't.
Badly carved characters and a non existing plot in addition to a soulless narration made this listen an ordeal. Not to recommend.
Very weIl written but the ending was terrible. I listened twice thinking that I somehow missed something. You don't need to tie up all the loose ends but closure would have been nice.