Brian Moore's suspenseful works, including The Statement, are international bestsellers, and three of his novels have been nominated for the Booker Prize. The Magician's Wife is an exotic tale of intrigue set in the age of Napoleon III. It received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. Monsieur Henri Lambert is a world-famous magician. Because his carefully rehearsed performances astound even the most critical audiences, the Emperor sends him to Algeria. There, Lambert must dazzle its leaders and convince them the French have special powers. As an added attraction, Emmeline, his unsophisticated young wife, is to accompany him. But in this unfamiliar landscape, when Emmeline discovers the deception involved in the Emperor's plan, she decides to shift its outcome. Moore skillfully tightens the suspense, infusing it with lyrical passages that highlight Emmeline's growing intelligence. Narrator Graeme Malcolm's European tones capture the international flair of this outstanding book.
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by James Becker
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"A renowned master of illusion, Lambert, accepts Emperor Louis Napoleon's commision to discourage an Algerian uprising through exhibitions of magical power. By this, the Emperor hopes to gain time for the arrival of French armies later in the spring. Lambert's wife is appalled. Lonely and insecure, she becomes disillusioned by her husband's corruption, as well as the colonial hypocrisies intended to deceive the proud Islamic peoples. With his clarity of delivery and skill with regional accents, Malcolm transcends mere intimations of gender. Moore's brew of chicanery and questions of political morality as seen through the eyes of a sensitive woman is well served by this delicate interpretation. S.B.S. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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