The Confabulist

The Confabulist

Book - 2014
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What is real and what is an illusion? Martin Strauss's fate seems forever tied to that of magician Harry Houdini. Strauss recounts Houdini's life-- but the retelling is through the damaged memory of the fan who killed him with a punch to the stomach in 1926. Can we trust what we hear? Believing Houdini to be alive, Strauss hopes to find his whereabouts even as he, himself, is being pursued by a cadre of conspirators out to muzzle him.
"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"--
Published: New York :, Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA),, 2014.
ISBN: 9781594631962
Branch Call Number: F GAL
Characteristics: 304 pages ;,24 cm


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(Staff) Elaine Bird Jun 20, 2015

Interesting story looking at the nature of reality, truth and life. Very complex characters involved in a story that stretches out over many years. Enjoyable!

Dec 15, 2014

Nice story. Good characters. An enjoyable read. Full review can be found here:

jjmcg Oct 10, 2014

R Penney recommendation Oct 2014

patcumming Oct 10, 2014

Plot twists and turns, magic, espionage, this book has it all.

Sep 21, 2014

When I picked this book up it was because I liked Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo and wanted to read another of his books. I didn't know it was partly about Houdini or I may not have chosen it. I've never liked magic tricks and illusions make me crabby. I had just watched the Houdini TV series starring Adrien Brody and confirmed my feelings once again. Having said that, I did plough through this book with very little enjoyment. There were no likeable characters in the book for me, and the ending was annoying and confusing. I was left trying to do the math and I don't like math as much as I don't like magic tricks.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "A mesmerizing story shared between two people -- Harry Houdini and Martin Strauss, spanning the times between 1897 to present day. Martin has a disease that make him 'confabulate' facts. The result is greatly entertaining."

Jul 25, 2014

A very amusing read on an unusual topic. I never thought I may be interested in Huidini but it is so much more, history interwoven. I did look up a lot of facts while reading. And the end makes you wonder…

Jul 06, 2014

Steven Galloway never fails to surprise, and his strong plotlines and superb writing ensure you will gobble up this book. "The Confabulist" entertains and makes you consider what is real and what we think is real. Great read.

May 24, 2014

Well worth reading. I liked the ending. You will find yourself wanting to read more on Houdini.


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patcumming Nov 26, 2014

Martin Strauss has a condition that not only leaves gaps in his memory, but fills those gaps with false memories. This allows Galloway to play with facts about historical figures Harry Houdini, Arthur Conan Doyle and the Romanov family. Like a magic trick, you are never really sure whether the described events are reality or illusion and so the reader is drawn in to the story of how Martin Strauss killed Harry Houdini twice...or did he?


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