03 March 2015

The Confabulist, by Steven Galloway

In this novel, a principle character is Harry Houdini, the magician and escape artist of the early 20th century. There are other actual people in the cast, such as Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. In his post-Holmes life, Doyle was very interested in spiritualism. Houdini was very interested in the debunking of spiritualism. He saw it as a tragic confidence game, taking advantage of bereaved people.

The narrator is Martin Strauss. Strauss is fictional, as far as I know.

There is a good review and plot summary here. [New York Times] I can do no better.

I understand that Galloway is a young writer. I look forward to reading more by him. This novel was particularly entertaining.

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