[PDF] The Spirit Cabinet By Paul Quarrington – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Spirit Cabinet

  1. says:

    Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.Long story short, I found this after an exhaustive search for a novel that would be as similar as possible to the film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone , without actually being a comedy TIBW was a film I became obsessed by while simultaneously thinking a lot of things about it were terrible and it could so easily have been better I am still planning to write something about this and, while still in the obsession phase, I was briefly determine Review originally published at Learn This Phrase.Long story short, I found this after an exhaustive search for a novel that would be as similar as possible to the film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone , without actually being a comedy TIBW was a film I became obsessed by while simultaneously thinking a lot of things about it were terrible and it could so easily have been better I am still planning to write something about this and, while still in the obsession phase, I was briefly determined to find a book that captured the things I had been drawn to The glamour and excess and sexiness of the Las Vegas stage magic mini world but also the many things about it that are grotesque, dated, insular and weird It had to have a contemporary setting most books I could find about stage magic had a historical setting and ideally, obviously, I wanted it to be focused on a successful duo and to be set in Vegas I didn t think I was going to find anything that fulfilled all the criteria until I came across The Spirit Cabinet , although I had to order a copy from the US I don t think it was ever published here, and indeed Quarrington seems to have been much better known in his native Canada than elsewhere a search for UK pages containing the author s name doesn t turn up anything much at all.That wasn t really a long story short, was it Anyway, the main characters in The Spirit Cabinet, Jurgen and Rudolfo, are clearly based on Siegfried and Roy Reading a few biographical articles on them while reading this book made it clear that the characters are so similar, Quarrington s novel could almost be a roman clef, if it didn t take a fantastical turn part way through The plot hinges on Jurgen s purchase of a collection of Houdini memorabilia, including the titular Spirit Cabinet, which he quickly becomes obsessed with There are three stories here one about what happens after Jurgen acquires the Spirit Cabinet and begins to change , one about how he and Rudolfo came to be famous, and one that seems to be a glimpse into the future, with Rudolfo alone and ruined The Spirit Cabinet has a sort of slightly zany tone that differs from anything I would normally choose to read Everything s larger than life, though this is perhaps normal for the Vegas strip There were numerous scenes I found painful to read despite the fact that the things they described weren t particularly graphic or unpleasant, compared to other horrible stuff I ve read without flinching The author seems keen on reinforcing these grotesque elements every so often he doesn t let us forget about Jurgen s crippled, purple eyelids, damaged in an early performance remembering the details of this makes me feel queasy even now , or the condition that leaves Rudolfo completely hairless There are many minor characters with utterly repulsive appearances, or chronic bad breath or acne, or some other unfortunate affliction Samson, Jurgen and Rudolfo s albino leopard, is anthropomorphised to a degree, the narrative often providing insight into his all too human thoughts and emotions In fact, he s probably the most sympathetic character This is, after all, a story of magic, and there are hints of the real thing everywhere This fantastical element heightens after Jurgen s Spirit Cabinet fixation begins, but it s already evident before that it s not always clear whether some of the characters are simply doing tricks or actually have powers When someone mentions vampires you have to pause for a moment to wonder whether this should be taken literally, and when something implausible happens for example the development of a completely improbable but, in the end, quite sweet relationship between two of the secondary characters it seems less ridiculous than it should I find it difficult to judge, overall, whether I enjoyed this book or not It held my interest, but there were times I found it altogether too much , and had to take a break from it as a result, it took me a relatively long time, nearly a month, to get through it, even though it s not a challenging read And as always with books I give an average rating, it s hard to say how I d recommend this, or to whom I suppose it boils down to this I wouldn t not recommend it, but at the same time, I wouldn t recommend going out of your way to get hold of a copy, like I did Too dark to be quirky entertainment see The Night Circus , but too wacky to achieve much literary merit, it occupies a strange, yet undeniably intriguing, hinterland between comedy and sincerity Incidentally, there were a few things in The Spirit Cabinet that made me wonder whether it served as any kind of inspiration for the plot of TIBW Most notably, the thaumaturgical assistant leaving the main characters show to work for a rival, and the idea of a stage magician visiting Africa on a do gooder mission and performing tricks which are completely meaningless and useless to the natives I can t find any references to the book and the film together, but the latter in particular seems unusual enough that I wouldn t be surprised if there s a link


  2. says:

    If you ve been reading my reviews over the past few years, then you may have picked up on the fact that I have a soft spot for stage magicians So of course when I saw this on the library shelf next to Whale Music, I knew I would have to read it, even though the characters, obviously modeled on Siegfried and Roy, are muchmodern than the Victorian magicians I tend to favor Ever since watching Arrested Development, I cannot think about modern magicians without getting The Final Countdown If you ve been reading my reviews over the past few years, then you may have picked up on the fact that I have a soft spot for stage magicians So of course when I saw this on the library shelf next to Whale Music, I knew I would have to read it, even though the characters, obviously modeled on Siegfried and Roy, are muchmodern than the Victorian magicians I tend to favor Ever since watching Arrested Development, I cannot think about modern magicians without getting The Final Countdown stuck in my head Anyway, I was not disappointed While sections were rather difficult to follow and I would have liked a bitexplanation about some parts, I found it sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always engaging


  3. says:

    Really great story about the world of Vegas magicians and magic in general Takes us from flim flammery across to the other side of real magic and a yearning for somethingMain characters are thinly veiled knock offs of Siegfried and Roy with a hilarious background story Story is told on three different narrative threads featuring the same characters in the past present and future which is a great device for drawing out suspense One of my new Quarrington favourites.


  4. says:

    You Turn off that Anthony Robbins tape.For at long last you will witness those Cingalese mysteriums in your own fitness studio, baby In the form of the much ballyhooed Jurgen Rudolfo Ooh, Boy You Turn off that Anthony Robbins tape.For at long last you will witness those Cingalese mysteriums in your own fitness studio, baby In the form of the much ballyhooed Jurgen Rudolfo Ooh, Boy


  5. says:

    I found an ARC of this book at a yard sale and thought it sounded intriguing, butI did not enjoy this book And I don t really know why But I never got into it and I had to force myself to finish it Because I m stubborn like that.


  6. says:

    Wasn t as thrilled about this book as some of his others It was interesting but hard to follow at times.


  7. says:

    Just finished reading This book was amazing.


  8. says:

    Everyone has a strange life, because life is so strange.


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The Spirit Cabinet After A Long, Slow Climb Out Of The Strip Clubs Of Europe, Jurgen And Rudolfo Have Hit The Big Time In Las Vegas, Headlining A Magic Act As Slick As Their Own Buffed And Usually Half Naked Bodies Rudolfo Is Content Orchestrating The Spectacle And Attempting To Twin His Soul With Jurgen S But Jurgen Hungers For And Finds It In A Mysterious Collection Of Magician S Paraphernalia That Once Belonged To Harry Houdini With The Knowledge He Finds There, And His Own Faith In The Unknown, Jurgen Becomes The Miracle Worker Of The Las Vegas Strip Darkly Comic, Deeply Sad, And Always Ironic Library Journal , The Spirit Cabinet Takes Dead Aim At The Place Within Us That Yearns For Miracles It Is Not A Book About Magicians And Their Pursuit Of Magic, Wrote Alan Beaton In The National Post It Is A Book About Human Beings, And Their Pursuit Of Faith