The Spirit Cabinet

The Spirit Cabinet

Book - 1999
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After a slow climb out of the strip clubs and flesh pots of Europe, Jurgen and Rudolfo have hit the big time in Las Vegas, headlining a slick and well-oiled magic act. Rudolfo, a true misfit, is content orchestrating the spectacle, but Jurgen, stricken since childhood with the irrational desire to make magic, hungers for more. He finds it in a musty, mysterious collection of old manuscripts and magic cabinetry that once belonged to Houdini. And when he turns into the miracle-working saint of Las Vegas, chaos results. In a narrative that is whimsical, comic and melancholy by turns, Quarrington takes dead aim at the place in the human heart that hopes that doves can bloom from top hats and illusions can come true.
Publisher: Toronto : Random House of Canada, c1999.
ISBN: 9780679310310
Branch Call Number: FIC Quarr
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 24 cm.


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diesellibrarian Sep 28, 2011

This is a truly bizarre novel - the kind that makes you wonder how the author was able to invent such strange and improbable characters and situations. And yet, it somehow works. Quarrington seems to have a knack for taking a cast of unlikeable rejects and wrapping them in a humane pathos. His descriptions of the seedy underbelly of the world of stage magic are extremely evocative. The novel is wonderfully paced, and the plot unfolds in an unhurried manner. I swear that I had no idea how it would end until the very last page.

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