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The Last Magician is about power and betrayal sexual obsession and social ostracism At its center is Lucy a good girl and a whore whose nights are spent in a kaleidoscope of identities as she dons the masks her customers demand Charlie is a photographer filmmaker voyeur and the last magician—monitoring Lucy piecing together the splinters of evidence surrounding the death of a child and a murder that happened half a lifetime ago A New York Times Notable Book Reading group guide included


10 thoughts on “The Last Magician: A Novel

  1. says:

    Abandoned 20% of the way in The writing is excellent but the story seems to be being told predominantly through extended descriptions of an artist's arthousey films and photographs and the main character's reactions to them I am not a particularly visual person and so this mode of storytelling simply doesn't engage me


  2. says:

    As the title suggests The Last Magician is a story thick with the fantasy and mystery threaded between a uniue group of characters and their inner relationships that essentially end up shaping their entire world There is a certain skill displayed when such a narrative has the ability to create magic from within the confines of very grounded subject matterPersonally I adored reading this book as Janette Turner Hospital takes her time with revealing the actual point of the tale and instead trickles the depth of her themes over you like honey The story is a crescendo forming slowly it's the literary version of progressive rock as each moment unwinds from the spring you're left wanting to see it through and complete the inevitable journeyThis is one of those books that won't make complete sense early on Instead there are many moments throughout the tale when you find an instance of clarity and insight into all the loose ends created in the beginning It may sound like a typical concept for a story creating mystery only to solve it later but the genius in this particular example comes from the sheer complexity of initial intruige followed by explanations that don't always leave you satisfied but succeed in developing an even deeper tapestry that adds to the lives of each character completelyThere certainly is a lot of magic in this tale and it's written with a uniue take on what could have been a bland narrative The characters are facinating but not always likeable Sonny Blue is easy to hate but at times there seems to be some empathy and I found myself slightly pitying this horrid gutless man Within the melee of wonderful characters it's sometimes hard to remember how central Lucy is to this world after all it's through her that the story is told It almost seems as though without her none of the players in this story would be anything than lost in their own uarry Just as without Cat they might have all gone the way of the ordinary people in the world and lost their magic a long time agoOverall I highly recommend this book as a delight to read It may take some readers a bit longer to get used to the way this tale unravels but by the time you're done with it you'll be thanking yourself for seeing it through


  3. says:

    Fascinating story of intersecting lives in Australia


  4. says:

    This is not a book It is a labyrinthine journey through the very essence of the human psyche Its foibles its motivations its self preservation deprivation justification escape and release Betrayal and loyalty acceptance and rejection power privilege trauma Coincidence?It is a most masterful examination of what drives us set in familiar surrounds amongst a group of disparate people It was at first seemingly confusing It wasn’t until I had devoured the first half that I realised it was really a jigsaw puzzle but instead of seeing all the pieces and choosing for myself the pieces were presented to me by the author When I was screaming for a blue piece she offered only green or red Shape shifting and time warping the author shows us in snippets and crumbs If I tried to include my most favourite parts I would fill endless pagesI am unable to tie this work up in a neat little bow and tell you what it is about Find out for yourself I hope you will not be disappointed but I care not I believe it to be a masterpiece of exuisite language and the most visual storytelling I have ever read Not a book An experience


  5. says:

    I liked the synopsis the execution of the actual book was meh Some good turns of phrase now and again but I couldn't figure out how some of the characters were related and make enough sense of the story itself I've owned this book for ages and finally plowed through it and am happy for that


  6. says:

    I gave up reading this novel after some 75 pages I just could not get which character's head I was in


  7. says:

    Glorious story telling plotting and characterisation from a magnificent writer


  8. says:

    My interaction with The Last Magician was as uneven as the text felt to me I picked it up I grew bored I picked it up again and was confused I picked it up and became intrigued then amazed then muddled I picked it up started reading again and couldn't put it down but only after I had read 150 pages The characters will stay with me; I want to sit uietly and digest what I just read Hospital's descriptions are similar to her Charlie's photographs multi layered convoluted picturesue as well as horrific and completely necessary to the book I would recommend The Last Magician with the advice to stick with it


  9. says:

    As with her other excellent novels see Oyster and Orpheus Lost Turner Hospital has again created a detailed nightmarish world this time comparing an open pit mine and its workers in Brazil with the underground dwellings and poverty stricken inhabitants of Sydney's inner city There's even a mystery to boot But at present I'm not in the mood for such darkness Maybe I'll pick it up again later For now though I'm pushing back to the To Read category


  10. says:

    The description doesn't do this novel justice This is a novel about friendship among people who have not figured out how to live in the world It is about the social cages that we do and do not accept and about our willingness or unwillingness to see honestly the world around us This is one of the few novels I have read twice It is allegorical and complex and well written