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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

The Trick

The Trick: a Novel - Jonathan Davis, Emanuel Bergmann

Originally written in German, square 7 for the 16 festive tasks!


Moshe Goldenhirsch grew up in Prague in the 1930's. His family was far from perfect and Moshe decides to run away. Moshe comes across a circus run by the Half-Moon Man and is entranced by his magic tricks; he eventually is eventually taken on as an apprentice by the Half-Moon man. Moshe eventually transforms into the Great Zabbatini, a Persian mentalist. However, as the war grows, Zabbatini's facade is broken and he is found out as a Jew. In 2007, Max Cohn is trying to deal with his parent's divorce. As his parents are moving out, Max finds a record of the Great Zabbatini's performance and one of his tricks is a spell for eternal love. The record happens to be scratched on the eternal love spell sending Max on an adventure to find the real Zabbatini and ask him to perform his spell. 

This dual time story was an emotional journey that ranged from sorrowful to sweet. The writing flowed seamlessly as the alternating time lines switched between Moshe and Max. Moshe's story drew me in with the complexity of family issues and his desire to find escape within the magic of the circus. I was further impressed with Moshe's transformation to Zabbatini and his path to becomming a mentalist. The suspense grew as Zabbatini interacted with officials from the Nazi party. Seeing some of the mentalist tricks in action was very intriguing. Max's character evoked a lot of sympathy as his parents went through the trials of divorce and Max clung to the hope of a magic spell. When Max did fine Zabbatini, the tone of the story changed as both characters found hope in one another. The relationship they formed was similar to grandparent and grandchild and exactly what the other needed at the time. I loved the eternal love spell that Zabbatini performed as well as the unlikely connection that he found. Overall, an emotional story that incorporates history, magic and hope. 

This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.