Reviews for Magician's Assistant

AudioFile Reviews 2008 December/January 2009
Karen Ziemba's voice enhances the magical qualities woven into this tale of love and loss. As with a magic trick, little in the story is as it appears. Magician's assistant Sabine adores the magician Parsifal. Even though he can't love her as she wants, he captivates her throughout his life--and beyond. After his death, Sabine must confront the disappearing act that dominated Parsifal's life. Ziemba voices objections by Sabine's Jewish mother with characteristic zing and gives a sharp, grating tone to dialogue spoken by Parsifal's family, hidden away in Nebraska. As mysterious experiences move Sabine from sorrow to acceptance and peace, Ziemba's narration carries the listener along. J.J.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
After working as his assistant for more than 20 years, Sabine marries her beloved boss, Parcifal, knowing that he's gay and has just lost his lover. What she doesn't find out until after his death from AIDS is that Parcifal was actually Guy Fettera from Alliance, Neb., and had a family he never spoke about. Karen Ziemba creates an appropriately light tone for the narrator, despite some dark events that Sabine discovers when she visits Parcifal's sweet, dysfunctional family. She crafts clear, flat Midwest accents for the magician's mother and sisters and her pace and annunciation are excellent. Ziemba's men all sound alike, but they play minimal roles. She is an experienced and professional reader with just the right stuff for Patchett's 1997 novel, which probes the complex motives of Parcifal and his assistant. A Harcourt paperback (Reviews, July 14, 1997) (June)