Millroy the Magician by Paul Theroux

About the book

Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina walks into the tent at the County Fair and finds her life transformed. Fixing her with her hypnotic gaze, Millroy the Magician performs astonishing miracles. When she is later magicked into his trailer and Millroy promised to train her as his assistant, Jilly feels safe for the first time her her short life.

But Millroy is more than a mere stage-show magician. A vegetarian and health fanatic, a possessor of healing and hypnotic powers, Millroy is on a mission to change the eating habits of an entire nation. And through Jilly he has found the strength to preach his evangelical message. With Millroy’s messianic fervour ever growing, Jilly begins to have doubts – but Millroy knows that without Jilly there will be no magic. . .

Reviewed by The Benches

A complicated story of miracles and magic, with too many messages from Millroy. He is a vegetarian and health fanatic with a mission to change the food habits of America. Too much detail, repetition and fantasy”

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The 1000 Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

About the book

In your hands is a place like no other: a tiny, man-made island in the bay of Nagasaki, for two hundred years the sole gateway between Japan and the West. Here, in the dying days of the 18th century, a young Dutch clerk arrives to make his fortune. Instead he loses his heart.

Step onto the streets of Dejima and mingle with scheming traders, spies, interpreters, servants and concubines as two cultures converge. In a tale of integrity and corruption, passion and power, the key is control – of riches and minds, and over death itself.

 

Reviewed by CC Readers

“Not an easy read but many found this book impressive and ultimately a page turner. Wonderful writing, evocative descriptions of places, period, people, emotions, nature, etc. Poetic and memorable. On the minus side – too dense and wordy but worth persevering

 

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Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

About the book

Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi’s living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading.

Reviewed by Goodworth Clatford WI Reading Group:

Fascinating. Very condensed and slow reading because there was so much to take in. A vivid picture of life in Tehran and subjugation of women.

Star rating: ***

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