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Paperback The Musical Illusionist: And Other Tales Book

ISBN: 0978910311

ISBN13: 9780978910310

The Musical Illusionist: And Other Tales

In the tradition of Borges and Calvino, The Musical Illusionist is an interwoven collection of postmodern folk tales--disappearing manuscripts, neurological anomalies, teleporting bacteria, and an unforgettable composer who manipulates sound to bend perception--that masterfully blends scientific curiosity with magical-realist caprice. Alex Rose has published stories and essays for McSweeney's , the North American Review , The Providence Journal ,...


Format: Paperback

Condition: New

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Customer Reviews

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Brilliant Interstitial Fiction

What is The Musical Illusionist? The book itself barely resembles traditional adult fiction texts. It is interspersed with lush full-color plates bearing lively images of artwork, and photographs of relics; several pages contain mathematic graphs, musical staves, or paradigms for linguistic conjugations. Its format is part-textbook, part-tour brochure--it resembles the glossy-paged minitexts on history and culture and customs which tourists skim before traveling for the first time to a foreign nation. The latter resemblance is certainly not coincidental. Illusionist is set up as a sort of companion text that is to be read during the reader's subway ride through a secret night gallery called "The Library of Tangents." "It's said...that unlike a conventional library, it is an archive not of history, but of possibility. You've heard it described as a vast catalogue of deviations--improbable histories, oblique paths, scientific anomalies" (8-9). While admittedly intriguing, none of this, however, necessarily implies that one will ever encounter a traditional story, and it prompts questions as to whether or not fiction is more than just the creation of inert phantasms. But Illusionist, if pursued, actually contains two texts which (arguably) qualify as stories. And it is the first of the pair, "Book of Glass," which allows readers to begin an understanding of the nature of The Musical Illusionist as a whole.
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