Patchett Update

assistant.jpgI’ve blogged about Anne Patchett and recently I got around to The Magician’s Assistant (I’ve read her books completely out of order). There are some who think “Assistant” is Patchett’s best effort. I enjoyed it, but I am not among them. I just didn’t enjoy the characters as much as, say, those in Run. Sabine was well fleshed out and Dot was pretty funny. But I didn’t especially like either of the sisters or the dream sequences. The story was inventive but didn’t blow me away. If I had to rank the three: “Run,” “Assistant,” Bel Canto. I know many who would invert that ordering. So maybe I am weird. I am OK with this fact. And so is my dog.

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2 Comments on “Patchett Update”

  1. wakenow Says:

    I just mentioned Patchett in my new blog/post and was linked here. I agree, Magician’s Assistant is sub par. I read Bel Canto first, and was blown away by it, so needless to say I’m surprised at your ordering. I haven’t read Run or Patron Saint of Liars (I’d like to) but I’d put Bel Canto first and then a few spaces down, Magician’s Assistant. The characters fell flat, their relationships to each other felt contrived, and so the story was not engaging. But I love Ann Patchett for Bel Canto!


  2. Thanks a lot for your comment, Wakenow. I fully realize I am in the minority — as a bird who has a blog, this is common territory for me — but for me the second half of “Bel Canto” spoiled the first half. The story’s credibility waned and it waned in a hurry. They were just in there too long. I did enjoy it and the writing is quite good. But when it comes to ranking Patchett books, I just don’t think it’s close — “Run” has more interesting characters and is a richer, more plausible story.


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