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.
This is my first Ann Patchett book, but it won't be my last. While The Magician's Assistant is very much in the "chick-lit" vein, the characters and situations are so original and interesting that it kept this man involved and entertained all the way from the first page to the last magic trick. While there is a substantial story here, of Sabine's journey from grief to new life, this is really a tale about the infinite possibilities within our human relationships, and about how we can limit or expand those possibilities.
While the female characters are finely and completely drawn, the men are not so convincing, and this represents the book's only small failing. As a piece, however, this is a work of delicacy that will bring joy and wonder to the reader who is open to it. Highly recommended for readers who love originality of plot and character-driven human stories.
I'm not going to recount the story because it annoys me to read reviews that tell the whole story. I can say that I was moved to tears more than once. But, I found the story's best punches were in the first 1/3, it levelled out in the middle and the end seemed to wander around. The actual ending is abrupt, unexpected and unfulfilling. That said, I do recommend it because the story is interesting, unique, engaging--and the narrator is quite good.