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The Troupe Paperback – February 21, 2012
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"This is the kind of book that will find its ways into one's hands again and again over the years."―Booklist
"...a melancholy coming-of-age tale with a moody atmosphere... The Troupe is a genuinely powerful piece of work."―SFX
"The Troupe is true magic: a gripping tale that reminds the audience why we fell in love with reading. This book enchants, leaving the audience on their feet, yelling for an encore."―Mat Johnson, author of Pym
"Thought-provoking, beautifully written, and highly recommended"―Sci Fi Bulletin
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Sixteen-year-old George Carole has been the house pianist at Otterman's Vaudeville Theatre for six months, but when he hears that The Silenus Troupe is playing in a nearby town, he quickly packs his bags and heads for the train station with only one thing on his mind: finding the man he suspects of being his father, the great Heironomo Silenus. George finally tracks his father down, but discovers something far stranger than the troupe's performances. The very texture of the night is different somehow, and time and space as George knows it has been altered, meaning only one thing: The men in grey are here. Let the show begin...
Bennett wastes little time in getting the story steaming and tooting along its dusty tracks, but sacrifices nothing in the setting of the vaudevillian scene. Greasepaint will skid on your fingers as you turn the pages, and your reading lamp will illuminate a faded backdrop, before which a top-hatted and moustachioed gent will appear on stage and regale you with the splendid and exotic acts that are to come. And splendid and exotic they are too.Read more ›
To be fair, the magic in the book is meant to be lyrical, mysterious, and not totally explainable in a clear narrative sense. After all, the troupe of the title is traveling around the country gathering pieces of an ancient song than can- alternately, depending on what character is explaining things- prevent pieces of the world from disappearing, bring back pieces that have already disappeared, and/or restore the balance of the universe itself. It's pretty mind bending, but, yeah, still a little vague.
Anyway, here's what works: the details about the troupe's grueling Vaudeville circuit (where an exhausting schedule doesn't prevent wonderful, strange performances); how the gifted yet misfit members of the troupe befriend each other as they daily confront their enemies and challenges, both natural and otherwise; and the many imaginative displays of magic and the supernatural- many small and whimsical, others downright epic and mind-blowing.
I did find the stakes a bit unclear, the nature of the magic often shifting and changing, and the story as a whole a little long. But I suspect others- especially those who embrace lyricism, poetry, and imagery over explanation- will be fine with most of this, and perhaps like it very much.
I will say this: this particular genre- fantasy unfolding in a real-world setting- doesn't usually grab me much, but in this case I had a pretty good time with it.
The story is about a young, talented pianist who tracks a troupe the leader of which he believes is his father. Not alot actually happens throughout the majority of the novel other than for a couple of encounters with the bad guys. These are agents of the anti God who wishes to destroy the whole world. The major focus of the book is George learning to counter the power of the antagonists.
There is practically no magic to speak of throughout the majority of the novel. However, I do not always believe this to be a bad thing.
Liked: I thought there were some interesting characters particularly Sileneus and Colette as well as a couple of nice twists that I didn't see coming.
Disliked: the novel ended rather abruptly I thought. There also wasn't enough going on for my liking. A Loy of dialogue particularly inner dialogue on the protagonists part and not much action.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another outstanding entry by Mr. Bennett. So far I have found every book by this author to be great, enjoyable reading.Published 2 months ago by Kevin Brown
This was good, but I didn't find it as good as the others RJB has written (that I've read). Most of the characters just didn't seem as well fleshed out; likeable enough, on the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ellen Morrison
Enjoyed the book from start to finish. A book to take on vacation or the beach to help pass the time.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Like all Robert Jackson Bennett stories, it's difficult to summarize the plot or describe the characters, so I won't try. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Laura McNamara
This book is very well done. It has a suspenseful, interesting, and compelling plot. It tackles lots of ideas about the world, in a subtle yet powerful way. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Anna
lI don’t usually write reviews, mainly because I’m not very good at doing so, but I just had to explain to those oblivious to Robert Jackson Bennett as to why they should read his... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Kaleb Russell