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In 1934, a rabbi's son in Prague joins a traveling circus, becomes a magician, and rises to fame under the stage name the Great Zabbatini just as Europe descends into World War II. When Zabbatini is discovered to be a Jew, his battered trunk full of magic tricks becomes his only hope of surviving the concentration camp where he is sent.
Seven decades later in Los Angeles, 10-year-old Max finds a scratched-up LP that captured Zabbatini performing his greatest tricks. But the track in which Zabbatini performs his love spell - the spell Max believes will keep his disintegrating family together - is damaged beyond repair. Desperate for a solution, Max seeks out the now elderly, cynical magician and begs him to perform his magic on his parents. As the two develop an unlikely friendship, Moshe discovers that Max and his family have a surprising connection to the dark, dark days the Great Zabbatini experienced during the war.
Recalling the melancholy humor of Isaac Bashevis Singer and the heartbreaking pathos of the film Life Is Beautiful, this outstanding first novel is at once an irreverent yet deeply moving story about a young boy who believes in magic and a disillusioned old man who believes in nothing, as well as a gripping and heartfelt tale about the circle of life.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Leah C. on 04-13-18
You'll laugh and you'll cry.
What did you love best about The Trick?
This is an amazing story where you will travel back in time to Prague and visit modern day LA. The story connected the Holocaust to the reality of children loosing sight of what life was like for their grandparents. The Trick made me laugh, cry and remember the importance of walking in other peoples shoes.
What other book might you compare The Trick to and why?
The Room on Rue Amélie and The Librarian of Auschwitz. These stories are also personal accounts of what went on during World War Two.
Which character – as performed by Jonathan Davis – was your favorite?
Zabbatini. He was such a dynamic character. He made you angry, sad and happy.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I wish I could have listened to this in one sitting! It was so hard to "put down".
1 of 1 people found this review helpful