Category Archives: de Heriz Enrique

Oops – almost forgot the April Retrospective!

A summary of the books I read in April (which turned out to be an excellent month!), with links to reviews:

The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki – 4/5
A surprisingly touching and thought-provoking ‘retrospective’ of a career conman – not at all what I expected.

Small Island by Andrea Levy – 4/5
Re-read as this was the book I chose to give away for World Book Night. A very warm & rewarding story of immigrants settling in London after the war; far more satisfying than the author’s more recent The Long Song.

The Manual of Darkness by Enrique de Heriz – 3.5/5
The story of a magician who must come to terms with a sudden blindness. Lots of interesting aspects.

JOINT BOOK OF THE MONTH: 
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson – 4.5/5
Annie and Buster (Child A and Child B) have grown up playing integral roles in their parents’ performance artwork. As young adults they are trying to find their own places in the world; but when their parents suddenly disappear, everything is once more thrown into disarray. Really enjoyed this.

Was by Geoff Ryman – 4/5
The ‘true’ story of a little girl called Dorothy Gale, growing up in a bleak Kansas of the 1870s, and the repercussions over the next century and beyond. Several intertwining stories; a fascinating read.

JOINT BOOK OF THE MONTH: 
Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital – 4.5/5
A small town in the Australian outback (once the home to an enigmatic, charismatic stranger called Oyster, and his followers) holds more secrets than you might imagine. A claustrophobic, and beautifully written story – one of my longest-standing TBRs, it was definitely worth the wait!

The Angel of Brooklyn by Janette Jenkins – 3.5/5
The Angel of Brooklyn is the star of Coney Island until she is whisked away by Lancashire Lad Jonathan, to the small village of Anglezarke. When all the men from the village sign up to do their bit for ‘the Great War’, tensions rise among the women they leave behind. It’s a light-ish read that didn’t quite hit the mark for me, but enjoyable nonetheless.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon – unfinished
I got hold of a paperback copy of this (one of my longest-standing TBRs) in case it was the heft of the hardback copy that was putting me off.  I read & enjoyed a couple of chapters but it has once more been consigned to the future TBR pile.  Just not in the right frame of mind for this one, currently

The Manual of Darkness by Enrique de Heriz

DATE FINISHED: April 9th, 2012

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Victor Losa spends his life living up to his mentor’s accidentally overheard prediction that one day he will be “one hell of a magician”. When he quite suddenly loses his eyesight upon winning a lifetime achievement award Victor must learn to live a much different life than he has known. Victor’s journey is interwoven with the stories of various fictional and historical magicians, followed by the intervention of two very real women.

THOUGHTS:   A game of two halves, the first half of The Manual of Darkness describes the defining moments of Victor’s childhood and beyond: the death of his father, his training and learning curve as a magician, and the history of the magician’s trade via his mentor and substitute father-figure, Galvan. Read more of this post