“The Confabulist” is a historically rich and ingeniously told story about illusion and the ways tricks of magic can for better or worst alter what we perceive and give credence to. The clever and entertaining narrative portrays the vivid alluring world of a first class magic show and weaves together the life, loves and the sudden death of one of the world’s greatest magician, Harry Houdini, with the story of Martin Strauss, an ordinary man, as his life turns upside down after accidentally killing the great magician.
No doubts, most of what we read is made up for our entertainment and it does that with excellence. The story is intricate and flows beautifully through distinct chapters to immerse us into the lives of the two main players. The first person narrative follows Martin as he slowly replaces facts with false memories and the third person follows Houdini’s long life trickeries around the world. The story tells how this illusionist danced between effect, method, misdirection and reconstruction to choreograph successfully his magic and evocative flashbacks details his rise to stardom and his crusade to expose mediums and charlatans. We are also given the idea that Houdini may have been a spy working for both the U.S. and British Intelligence and this notion is somewhat believable. And of course we have the inevitable love story for a tad of romance.
This novel is a fiction and may not be for everyone but real or not…..let your imagination match the magic of this wonderful tale told by a master story teller and enjoyed every moment for what it is….entertainment..