Monday, September 28, 2009

Review: The Art of Disappearing - Reality Rather Than Illusion?

The Art of Disappearing
By Ivy Pochoda
St. Martins Press
ISBN: 9780312385859
311 Pages

This is not the usual romance novel. Ivy Pochoda in The Art of Disappearing presents a fascinating escape into a different world. Whether it is real or imagined is unimportant. It is in the events, the drama, that we find ourselves hoping...

Mel Snow is a textiles consultant; she works with fabrics but also floor coverings, etc., in recommending and designing spatial areas. Her talent is superior; in fact, she selects her materials, often by the song they sing to her. Sometimes the materials call to her and her favorite place is to visit second-hand stores where each costume shares their own individual story. I highlight her story first because once you begin to read, you will be caught up into the magical life surrounding Toby Warring. But, in my opinion, this is really Mel's unique story. Some of us will recognize it as our own; others will simply enjoy it! But either way, you will remember and once again be caught up into the mystique and love that was there.

Mel Snow met Toby in a dingy bar. He said he had been there before, looking for someone for whom he could buy a drink, as he had just done for Mel. It wasn't hard for Mel to fall in love at first sight. And when it was suggested later that they had just won enough money to get married, that is what they did. Two days had past.

Toby's dream is to perform his magic in Las Vegas and since Mel could find work anywhere, they were quickly on their way there. Toby told her that she had brought new life to him and it looked that way, because he was quickly finding a following, mostly women, who had found him in the seedy part of town where gambling was most important to the male customers, but the wives found alternative entertainment. Soon they followed him around, stuffing money in his pockets, buying him drinks. He in turn would grab a bottle and start pouring from that bottle anything that the woman wanted--gin, vodka, scotch--it appeared in their glasses.

It wasn't long after they were married that Toby had confessed that his magic was--different, his magic was real. He used space in other dimensions through which he worked to create his illusions. But when a rabbit disappeared into his top hat, it never came back. One time, many years ago, his beautiful assistant had "disappeared" also. His kind of magic could be dangerous.

Quite a number of individuals also pointed out the danger--pointing out that the danger could involve Mel. They urged her to never become part of one of his magic tricks!

But the excitement, the wonder of his magic drew Mel and she loved the private shows out in the desert, where he used the sand and other earthly elements to perform just for her.

If a fan, a teenager had not fixated on becoming his new assistant, even though she knew that his former one had disappeared, it might have been a happily ever after marriage. But when the fan jumped in between a bullet and the magician and was accidentally killed, Toby realized that his career there was over. Unless...

Travel to Amsterdam with Toby and Mel to possibly start their life over. You'll have to decide whether you risk a return to Vegas, with the magician's latest trick.

A uniquely different illusion of love! Read about Toby and Mel's magical lives in The Art of Disappearing by Ivy Pochoda. You won't be sorry!

G. A. Bixler

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