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The Confabulist - an enchanting carpet-ride

Books & Poetry

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The Confabulist validates Steven Galloway’s reputation as one of the most exciting, accomplished and engaging storytellers of his generation.

Once again, the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, has taken an era of relatively recent yesteryear and transformed it into something magical, creating a multi-layered story that’s an enchanting, colourful carpet-ride.

Martin Strauss suffers from a degenerative disease that destroys his memories and replaces them with new and bogus reminiscences. He’s also the man who didn’t just kill Harry Houdini. He killed him twice. Full of twists, turns and magic, Strauss’s dispassionate story is inventively told and never stops challenging the reader.

On one hand, there is a character piece concerning the rise and death of the world’s great magician. On the other, there’s the heartfelt revelations from Strauss that are filled with truth, illusion, love and the captivating power of perception. Couple this with many historical figures – including Tsar Nicolas and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – thrown into the mix and you have a compulsively readable book that’s small in scale but ambitious in intent.

The Confabulist is eccentric – but brilliantly so. It’s a novel that defies comparison to anything or anyone but Galloway himself. It’s a rich, vivid, fantasy that moves along with grace and is a bewitching and imaginative read. In a word: enthralling.

The Confabulist, by Steven Galloway, is published by Text Publishing, $29.99.

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