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Publisher's Summary

Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it's not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed but her mind - Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.

Decades later the Telemachuses are not so amazing. Irene is a single mom whose ear for truth makes it hard to hold down a job, much less hold together a relationship. Frankie's in serious debt to his dad's old mob associates. Buddy has completely withdrawn into himself and inexplicably begun digging a hole in the backyard. To make matters worse, the CIA has come knocking, looking to see if there's any magic left in the Telemachus clan. And there is: Irene's son Matty has just had his first out-of-body experience. But he hasn't told anyone, even though his newfound talent might just be what his family needs to save themselves - if it doesn't tear them apart in the process.

Harnessing the imaginative powers that have made him a master storyteller, Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning, laugh-out-loud new novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.

©2017 Daryl Gregory (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Hilarious, heartfelt and brimming with humanity." (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest)
"Masterful...gracefully balances the outrageous melodrama of Chicago mobsters and shadowy government agencies with the ordinary mysteries of family dynamics.... Readers will emerge from the fray sure they know each Telemachus down to the smudges on their hearts. A skillfully written family drama that employs quirk and magic with grace." ( Kirkus Reviews)
" Spoonbenders is brilliant. With the Telemachus clan, Daryl Gregory has created a family that is part J.D. Salinger and part David Foster Wallace. But the most impressive trick in the novel isn't how they read minds. Gregory's real gift is how he uses them to show the depths of the human heart." (Christopher Farnsworth, author of Killfile and Blood Oath)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just the Right Amount of Everything!

What made the experience of listening to Spoonbenders the most enjoyable?

Spoonbenders is a great, silly, feel good book. As someone who listens to a lot crime and suspense novels it's nice to take a break and laugh. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Have you listened to any of Ari Fliakos’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I first heard Ari Fliako's narration in The Nix. He is was one of the reasons why I purchased this book. I like Ari because he's not over dramatic like some narrators. Ari Fliakos is one of my favorites.

Any additional comments?

This is a great summer read/listen!

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Shades of Koontz

I found this in humor. No real smiles (no laughs), but a light-hearted story. Nice use of flashbacks to develop characters. The narrator did a good job of creating separate voices for the characters. The supernatural element and easy style are reminiscent of Dean Koontz. I especially appreciate the untold secret, kept 'til the end (and beyond).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start, but patience is your friend here.

What did you love best about Spoonbenders?

Gregory does a great job of weaving storylines and really nails the voice of each character. I just also appreciated the good old fashioned storytelling aspect to this book. He deftly combines realism and magic all while maintaining a sense of humor.

What does Ari Fliakos bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ari Fliakos is a ridiculously good narrator, the best I've heard. Not only are his voice masks on point, his inflection in every sentence is perfection - it's as though he spends hours prepping each page. I would listen to anything he reads.

If you could take any character from Spoonbenders out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Teddy Telemachus ... I'd like to see some up close sleight-of-hand while sipping my g&t.

Any additional comments?

The first third of the book did not grab me; I couldn't figure out if I liked it. Eventually as the storylines converged and the drama ratcheted I looked forward to listening during my commute home. By the time the denoument hit I was definitely along for the ride. It's a slow burn but worth it.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story! Well told!

Kept me interested and laughing all the way through! All the characters are fully formed but human...and 3 dimensional...each one a superhero, each struggling with the remarkable and the ordinary world that makes the ride a fun obstacle course. The narrator completely nails the voices of the characters...so that all of them became fully formed in my minds eye. Somebody is going to make a movie....or a TV series out of this! It's a brilliant concept that could find lots of interesting plot points! I'm really happy I stumbled on to this character driven story!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Why the hype?

I just now went back to re-read the reviews on SPOONBENDERS to see what I missed because I didn't find this book anywhere near a four- or five-star rating. There are many sound-alike reviews that seem as though the reviewers have a page of book review descriptors and select from a column; others re-tell the plot, which is not helpful more than once. The story was extremely difficult to follow for me, switching back and forth in time. I think there's a solid basic plot which should have been entertaining, but wasn't. Could use some talented editing (maybe half the length?). Even the excellent narration by Ari Fliakos didn't help. Sorry.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very slow start

I wanted to like the book, I liked the premise. But after 3 hours it seemed like it was still back story and I couldn't figure out the what the plot was, looking into the past maybe. It's just not for me.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Original and Entertaining; Superb narration

This is an interesting and engaging listen. Daryl Gregory writes an original story, and the characters come alive because of the narrator. Ari Fliakos is definitely one of the best narrators on Audible, if not the best. This is the third book narrated by Ari that I've listened to. Spoonbenders has it all, and it is worth your time and a credit. It will one of the first titles I think of when recommending a book to a friend.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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All signs say you will love this story

This is a great story of a very unique family. It was compelling & detailed. The story didn’t drag & really kept my attention throughout. I highly suggest this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Quirky, Original, and Fun

I admit it – in my mind, Ari Fliakos can do no wrong. After listening to him perform The Nix in 2016 I knew I was completely obsessed with his voice. Enter his latest endeavor, Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory – a story about a family of psychics – and I knew I had to give it a listen. Spoonbenders follows The Incredible Telemachus family, a family of psychics (well, some of them at least) who in their heyday wowed audiences with feats of telekinesis, mindreading, and the ability to predict the future. But after one fateful and career-ruining television appearance, the future of this family became anything but predictable. Sprinkle in secret governmental agencies, a Chicago mob, a teenage boy discovering, um, himself, and you have a surprisingly relatable, genuine, and hilarious multi-generational saga.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!

Each character unique and so very real, kindly flawed humans in a family and storyline that will stay with me for a very long time.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful