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Now You See Him Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 261 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First Edition edition (January 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061284645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061284649
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,545,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A mesmerizing blend of suspense and long-buried family secrets, Gottlieb's second novel (after 1997's The Boy Who Went Away) culminates in shocking revelations that rock a quiet upstate New York town. Nick Framingham is still reeling from the recent death of his childhood best friend, the writer Rob Castor, who committed suicide after killing his ex-girlfriend in Manhattan. Nick's own marriage to his college sweetheart, Lucy, begins to unravel as he struggles to understand what drove Rob to murder. Rekindling an old relationship with his first love, Belinda, Rob's volatile and beautiful sister, Nick begins to retrace not only Rob's last days but also their shared childhood, looking for clues to explain his friend's actions. Gottlieb skillfully ratchets up the suspense by doling out the details of Rob's death in bits and pieces, until everything falls into place in a startling conclusion that will rattle even the genre's most experienced readers. With his pitch-perfect dialogue and flawed yet empathetic characters, Gottlieb's sophomore effort should win him widespread recognition. (Feb.)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Eli Gottlieb’s suspenseful second novel looks intensely at the bonds of male friendship. Hailed as “the work of a master” (Denver Post) and “a brilliant work of art” (Charlotte Observer), Now You See Him is propelled by its stark, lucid language and skillfully drawn characters. Nick’s grief and confusion are genuinely moving, and readers will easily sympathize with his long-suffering wife and family. Though the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun thought the novel overwritten and predictable in places and Entertainment Weekly claimed it devolved into the realm of the soap opera toward the end, most critics praised it as a poignant and compelling account of lives torn apart by secrets, lies, and madness.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

The main twist at the end, while entertaining, didn't seem to fit the characters and didn't seem plausible.
Patty
It is Gottlieb's ability deftly unfold to the reader his character's inner most feelings that drives this suspenseful and riveting story.
S. Gould
Although McEwan's stories sometimes start out slow, they always go somewhere, make you want to keep turning the pages.
Beth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One of the words that always raises red flags for me when reading book descriptions is "literary". While there's every chance that the book may be good, there's an equally good chance that a literary novel will be pretentiously unreadable. The back of my copy of Eli Gottlieb's Now You See Him has a quote from Ann Patchett describing the book as a "literary page-turner", an indication that the two things are definitely separate quality. In this case, it happens to be reasonably true: Now You See Him is both literary and a page-turner.

The narrator of this novel is Nick Framingham who recounts at the beginning a pivotal event: his childhood friend - and briefly famous writer - Rob Castor has killed his girlfriend and later himself. This gives Castor some newfound celebrity, but months later, most of the press is out of Rob's former hometown (and Nick's current one), Monarch, New York. Nick, however, cannot seem to recover from Rob's death.

His marriage, faltering even before Rob's suicide, is truly crumbling now, exacerbated by Nick's self-absorption. In addition, Rob's sister - and Nick's first lover - is back in town and sparks are flying between the two. Among all the difficulties will come a series of revelations that will erode what little stability Nick still has.

One of the things that often distinguishes literary novels from genre novels (mystery, science fiction, etc.) is that plot is often not the primary consideration, and things rarely resolve cleanly. Such is the case here; this is more the tale of Nick's slow self-destruction. The "how" of this self-destruction is obvious enough, but the "why" is a little more subtle.

Gottlieb has an easy reading style that does indeed make this a fast page-turner.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Carlo Pizzati on January 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading "Now You See Him", I was left with the lingering
feeling of having been in the company of an intriguing mysterious
character who revealed himself only slowly to us, in a series of
spontaneous candid moments. He did so while confessing the discomfort
created by discovering the truth of his own identity and the root
cause of his alienation (quite justified, as it turns out). Beyond the
hip thriller-like tension this book imparts, it uses elegant, sharp,
brilliant writing to dig deep into the soul of the main character,
Nick Framingham, and thus into our own souls as readers.

Framingham reminds me of the nice reliable friend standing on the side
of the group photo, who turns out to be not so nice and not so
reliable. But he's only one of many indelible, vividly sketched
characters in this book. I want to spend a few words on another of
these, who struck me. Shirley Castor is a grand disturbed lady who
to my mind evokes the great female personae of 1940s Hollywood cinema,
ala Greta Garbo or Ava Gardner. She is a concentrate of pure strong
femininity, a she-warrior drunkard ready to bury you and your soul
with a flicker of her expensive Cuban cigarillo, right before dousing
it in her Martini glass.

"Now You See Him" was a bonanza of page-turning surprises, and when I
was done with it, I was left wanting more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By readernyc on February 16, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
I just finished a marathon read of "Now You see Him" read over 20 hours and I think Ann Patchett nailed the essence of why this is a great novel.

The language is poetic but the plot is also original, full of concealments and revealments and because it is 7 AM I'm still too inside this story (and now tired, of course) to write a review that does this book justice.

I do read a book a day, most days, or rather nights and after many months only a few really stay with me. This is a keeper! I think those who did not love it, maybe did not love the literary aspects which for me were almost as thrilling, or make that YES as thrilling as the amazing tale that is told her. Five stars. Excellent. Kol Ha Kovod to Eli Gottleib!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Gould VINE VOICE on March 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Eli Gottlieb's beautifully crafted story of a man's reflections about his best friend's death and the repercussions it has on his marriage is a compelling read.

With his entire small town reeling from the murder suicide of his closest childhood friend, who had successfully fled the grasp of Monarch life, Nick Framingham begins a sometimes self indulgent but always incisive evaluation of the events in his life that lead him to his faltering marriage and strained family relationships. Gottlieb's incredibly accurate assessment of the facets of ones relationships with those he loves adds immensely to the thought provoking story of a life gone horribly wrong and its effect on those left to sort out the reasons. It is Gottlieb's ability deftly unfold to the reader his character's inner most feelings that drives this suspenseful and riveting story.

I highly recommend this book!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Case TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Eli Gottlieb's first novel, "The Boy Who Went Away," won the Rome Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the McKitterick Prize of the British Society of Authors. There has been eager anticipation for his second novel, so I was pleased that I was selected to receive an Advanced Reader's Edition for review. "Now You See Him" is a literary, psychological, and moral tour-de-force. Once again, the author delights us with prose that is subtle, lush, fresh, and powerful, but it is the strong moral undercurrent of this novel that will carry you away.

It took courage to write and publish this novel! This is a dark, brooding piece that provokes the reader to argue for and against each side of a number of highly questionable moral acts. What's more, the novel begs readers to empathize with deeply flawed characters. These are normal well-meaning people who nonetheless commit appalling acts of everyday and criminal moral trespass. Many readers may simply be turned off by the whole moody, slow, introspective, tenor of the work. But those who relish moral fiction will be stimulated and meaningfully challenged.

Gottlieb gives us a set of characters stripped to their raw authenticity. He artfully makes us aware of each character's self-delusions. We get to see how these delusions resonate through the lives of friends and family. We witness the irony of characters so wrapped up in their own take on reality that they are blind to their misdeeds and how they mirror the very crimes they rail against in others.
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