Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Magician and the Fool-Barth Anderson

The Magician and the Fool
Barth Anderson
Bantam, Mar 2008, $13.00
ISBN: 9780553383591

Disgraced as an academia art historian Jeremiah Rosemont fled to remote areas to just get away from the treachery of his peers. He is currently hiking through Central America when a stranger informs him he has been summoned to Rome; the man gives him a plane ticket and leaves.

Rosemont flies to Rome and enters through a back door a hotel where he sees some sort of weird gala occurring; filled with people he once knew. At the same time that Rosemont is left bewildered, two killers in Minnesota pursue Boy King, a dumpster driving tarot card reader. They seek a legendary ancient pack that they believe Boy King owns; that same pack is why Rosemont has been brought out of self exile; disgraced or not he is expected to affirm its origin. If he is able to do so it will change recognition of this thought to be pseudo science into something valid and acceptable.

This is an exhilarating convoluted thriller that is not going to allow readers to remain in their comfort zone. Instead THE MAGICIAN AND THE FOOL is a well written complex tale that questions what is real in a singular and collective sense and is the singular real normal if it differs from the collective. Fans looking for something radically different and not easy to comprehend will relish Barth Anderson’s atypical tale that will either turn someone off early or have them re-read immediately to gain additional nuances and perspectives.

Harriet Klausner

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