New York : Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA), 2014
304 pages ; 24 cm ISBN/ISSN:
9781594631962 (hardback), 1594631964 (hardback), 9781594631962, 1594631964 :, Language:
"From the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, an exciting new novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a tale of magic, intrigue, and illusion"--
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Martin Strauss has a severe memory disorder. His doctor explains that he will get increasingly worse. Strangely, Martin will not just lose his true memories, but he will also "remember" things that never happened. Adding to his psychological discomfort, Martin is disturbed by his guilt. He was the man who punched Harry Houdini, causing his death.
While this is a mysterious historical fiction about the life and death of Houdini, it is also about the fictional character Martin Strauss who struggles with anxiety, uncertainty, guilt, and regret. So, pretty much, the human condition. Martin Strauss and Harry Houdini cross paths repeatedly in a twisting story of reality and illusion. It is an exciting and suspenseful novel, but also a pleasure for a fan of Houdini. Among the many wild speculations and fictionalizations, there is some solid fact about the life of the brilliant illusionist. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his spiritual medium wife make a cameo. And by the end, the reader has been lead on a crazy, fun journey with a surprising and meaningful ending.
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