Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
All Will Be Revealed Hardcover – International Edition, March 16, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Set in late 19th-century New York City, Siegel's second novel (after All the Money in the World) provides a fascinating tour of a pornographer's studio and a reluctant spiritual medium's parlor. Crippled from a childhood illness, the reclusive Augustus Auerbach has built a fortune in the pornography business; largely confined to his opulent mansion and rarely encountering people who are not employees or models, Auerbach is as incurious about others' lives as he is clueless about his own. His controlled existence begins to unravel when one of his models brings him to a séance conducted by the widowed (and crooked) medium, Verena Swann, who apparently connects him with the spirit of his self-absorbed and long-dead mother. As Verena attempts to escape her fraudulent vocation and the manipulative proposals of her business partner and brother-in-law, Leopold, an improbable romance blossoms between her and Auerbach. Siegel lays bare Verena's and Augustus's vulnerabilities as skillfully as they exploit those of others, but the novel's conclusion, which turns on Leopold's implausible machinations, fails to live up to its early promise. Readers willing to forgive the ending will find a richly detailed and seedily seductive narrative. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In early-nineteenth-century New York, Augustus Auerbach, crippled since childhood, is obsessed with his highly lucrative work as a pornographer. Convinced that he is the pioneer of a new art form, he obsesses day and night over the details of his photographic sessions; he almost never goes outside and maintains only the most superficial relationships with his servants and employees. Then one of his most prized models talks him into attending a seance with spiritualist Verena Swann, whose gift has been exploited and augmented with fake special effects by her brother-in-law. When Verena appears to put Augustus in touch with his long-dead and much-loved mother, Augustus finds that he is no longer satisfied with the isolated life he has been living. Siegel is skillful at incorporating into his narrative many fascinating details about photography and spiritualism. In addition, he draws readers into the emotional lives of two stunted people who exploit others' vulnerabilities while failing to understand their own. This well-crafted novel offers both an unusual plotline and richly atmospheric settings. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
If not that, the author is best when being concise with a fast-paced narrative. His sentences move even during any rare lapse into stagnant story. This is a page turner. Even though it is 1896, a time usually skimmed by the historical eye, and even though vintage pornography and seances could conceivably be the wrong choices for our modern interests, Siegel focuses on what is best about each character and pushes them against the difficult environmental current threatening to push them further down. I felt refreshed every night after putting this book down; people making the wrong decisions for themselves attempted to make the right decisions for others.
There are 2 exceptions, however: the nonredeemable Dr. Mayhew, who should have and did remain the bad guy, and Leopold Swann, whose quick transformation from evil cad to animal trainer places a rushed damper on the novel's ending. With Leopold's magnanimity, the book extends second chances for purveyors of filth and fraud too far. I also wanted Jane Larue to come back, but one thing this novel knows is that there should always be a limit to coincidences.
There are eight reviews for this book (4.6 out of 5 stars), but not all of them are showing for some reason (computer glitch?). I rate this book an enthusiastic 5. I hope the author continues to write.
- The plot premise is very interesting, as are the characters it is comprised of.
- Siegel is a talented writer that definitely creates the world in which his characters live (the attention to setting was great).
- There was some randomness (pregnant porn! the mental hospital intern! the bear training!) that I at first was against but grew to appreciate as everything came together (except the bear...).
- At times it was (very) predictable.
- I thought the end was a little rushed.
I definitely recommend this book- a little different, but definitely quality writing.
Like many charlatans in the waning years of the nineteenth century, Verena Swann makes her living from the desperation of those who have been swept away by vague promises of sightings, reuniting loved ones with their dead for a fee. Mrs. Swann realizes that her life is built on pretension, but like many females of the era, has always relied on men for guidance. Unexpectedly attracted to the handsome Auerbach, Verena begins a mild flirtation, but is suddenly whisked away by Leopold, who senses he is losing control over a woman essential to the success of his career. To that end, Verena is delivered into the care of an intimidating Dr. Mayhew, incarcerated in his sanatorium, where terrible operations are conducted on females considered out of control. Sending a surreptitious letter to Augustus via her attendant, Mrs. Swann is precipitously delivered from her fate.
Contrasting the lives of the three characters, Auerbach, Verena and Leopold, the author couches each in the histrionics of Victorian excess, replete with the bizarre tastes and curiosities of the era, New York seething with entrepreneurs and cons of every ilk. Augustus is drawn from the long isolation of his life, thrust into an unfamiliar relationship with a woman who opens him like a flower too long deprived of light: "His first intimation that he had lived a life of loneliness was that he did not feel lonely anymore." For her part, Mrs. Swann is secure once more in the arms of a man who adores her, as delicate in her way as is the object of her affections. It is only poor Leopold who fails to profit from the recent upheaval, withdrawing, as once did Augustus, into a world without risk. This charming, elegantly wrought story is a step into the past, where spirits rap on tables and beg for release, where lonely men purchase obscene pictures to view in the privacy of their illusions. Luan Gaines/ 2007.