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The Last Magician: A Novel Paperback – September 17, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the rain forest near Brisbane and in the city of Sydney, Hospital's mesmerizing study of the effects of a dark secret on the people who must live with it is a prime example of the storyteller's magical art.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This work is complex and disturbing, ultimately grappling with the darkest side of love. Readers who stick with her through the first slow pages will find themselves enmeshed in a chilling drama of personalities revealed through innuendo, reminiscence, and memory. Hospital pastes together her story like a photographic collage. The effect is disjointed and startling, requiring the reader to piece together the narrative, to make connections and find meaning. In barest outline, here are the lives of four people who share an ugly secret, a secret whose power becomes the driving force in each life. Charlie, a photographer, says, "Photographs beckon . Photographs seduce." So too this novel. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/92.
-Linda L. Rome, Middlefield P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039332527X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393325270
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,611,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a mass market paperback - I am not even sure why it was in the bookstore, since I'd never heard of the author before - and have read it at least a dozen times. A few other reviewers said it was confusing, but I found it fascinating. The author presents the story in pieces and readers have to put it together for themselves - that's why it's worth at least a second reading. Also, the book is really more magic-realism than mystery, and people who want a unambiguous ending probably won't like it, as the loose ends in this book trail past the finale. Very much worth reading if you enjoy puzzles and ambiguity.
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Format: Hardcover
The prose and plot of this story are by far the most difficult of any of hers. It took me 3 tries to get through it but was well worth the effort as usual. Take it someplace where you will have lots of time and relaxation to concentrate. As with all her stuff you'll feel disturbed and unsettled afterwards. Then you'll take it too your friends and say "just stick with it"
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Format: Paperback
I read The Last Magician because I found Orpheus Lost hauntingly lovely and profoundly moving. The Last Magician feels like a much earlier novel written with a self-consciously literary style that precociously interferes with the narrative at times, with a feel of pretentiousness and sophomoreishness.

But I'm back to try another because even though it taxed my patience to get through intrusive allusions, The Last Magician held a true and complex vision, hard to encounter but compelling to read.
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Format: Hardcover
When I finished this book, I was plagues for weeks afterword by its haunting feeling and amazingly real characters. Thats something that impresses me about Hospital, she writes with such feeling, the characters just would not leave my mind. Sometimes, however, the emotion overtook the evolution of plot, and I must say I was disappointed by the ending. But if you give this one time and are open to it, it will take you on a trip. Masterful prose.
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Format: Hardcover
Turner is an engaging writer. She could probably write a recipe that would keep your attention. However, the story she develops here entirely lacks a satisfactory conclusion and the beginning of the book seems more pretentious than challenging. If one knew Lucy as a real person, she'd be frustrating as her story bounces too often to maintain rapt attention. Still, if you've nothing else to read soon, it's not the worst book to spend time reading and there are some interesting viewpoints to be shared with the characters.
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