Millroy the Magician
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Millroy the Magician

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  338 ratings  ·  30 reviews
"Brilliant...Wonderful...Millroy's magic pops out at the reader from the first page."

--John Updike

The New Yorker

"PICARESQUE...ENCHANTING...Theroux is a gifted and versatile tale spinner."


Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina was mesmerized by Millroy the Magician at the Barnstable County Fair. After all, he once turned a girl from the audience into a glass of milk and dran...more
Paperback, 0 pages
Published March 1st 1995 by Ballantine Books (first published February 15th 1994)
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Jul 02, 2008 Judith rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Jaap
Though I've never truly watched the TV-series "Carnivale", as I found them too scary for the time of day they were broadcasted, this book oozes the same feeling of dark mystery, which is partly why I loved it. Millroy is a magician capable of true magic (liquidizing people and drinking them like milk) and is obsessed with healthy food as eaten in the Bible. He takes 14-year old Jilly along on his travels, and it is through her eyes we see the slightly disturbing story unfold.
Maybe this is a book I can try to read again during the winter. It's slow-paced (which is normally fine) and a bit creepy (also, generally speaking, fine) but I think if you're reading a book like that, one or more of the characters should be engaging in some way or another. For me at this time, I wasn't drawn to a character or the story.
For me this is Theroux's funniest book. He takes potshots at all kinds of American icons from pompous religious types, to organic food fanatics, to children's TV. The story can be disturbing at times but if you read it to the end you will be rewarded by some real surprises.
This book is tricky surprising and so incredibly beautiful. It will give you much to ponder about humanity and the power of belief. I sincerely enjoyed it and could not put it down.
Lee Gooden
This was a strange book with a very disturbing ending. The last couple of pages will stay with me forever.
I read this for a book club...blech! Just. Terrible. I couldn't bring myself to finish it.
Another typical case of "Don't judge a book by its cover"...

If you've been following my reviews for a while, you'll know by now that I havea mad love affair with Paul Theroux. (his books, of course. It's totally what I mean to say).

I LOVE Theroux.

No discussion about it. Nothing he can do will convince me otherwise. I hope. OMG I really really hope.

Of course I don't love every single one of his books, which would be asking a bit much, since a) he has written a lot more than most good authors th...more
Norton Stone
I could not put this book down, yet as I read the reason was not obvious. Beautifully written but a brilliant exercise in repetition. I became entranced. The book is hypnotic. At the end, the journey I had been on was not completely clear, as if I had emerged from an eon compressed in a 5 minute nap. I can remember it all yet I remain unsure of the purpose. Was Jilly Farina from Marston Mills a wide eyed delusional apostle and Millroy a false prophet? Was Millroy God's son but ultimately imperfe...more
It is not often that I am at a loss for words about a particular book. It is even less frequent if I am not sure whether I liked a book or not. It took me about one week to read Millroy, and I primarily read because I wanted to see how the story of Millroy and Jilly would end. I still don't know if I enjoyed this book. The character of Millroy is certainly a complex and fascinating one, but the plot left something to be desired (for me). I wouldn't recommend this one to most readers - it is extr...more
Billed as "a funny, dark satire of America's obsessions," and written by the talented Paul Theroux, this book should have been right up my alley, but quite possibly it is one of the stupidest things I've ever read. A warning label would be helpful: Caution--contains spurious vomiting and other unwarranted redundancies and pointless excesses. What in the heck was this all about? Cannot believe I kept reading this muddled tale to the very end. It did not get better.
Margaret Blake
With a title like 'Millroy the Magician' I thought it would be a fun book, but ... while it kept me reading, when I got to the end I didn't like it at all. I believe it was meant to portray a love story but what I saw was a middle-aged man who kidnapped a young girl because he was obsessed with her. I would not recommend it.
This book changed my life. It wil change yours too. It's a fiction but it's so well grounded in north-american food culture that it feels more like a real biography. If you have a true interest of what goes into your body (and what comes out of it...) and how it effect who you are - this book is for you
I went into this book with an idea of what to expect and was thrown completely upside down repeatedly - this is a book that should not be missed, but it did leave me confused as to why it was written at all. A wacky story, wacky characters, but has a very warm and moving message contained within.
Peter Soutowood
This is the only Theroux book I couldn't finish. By three-quarters through, I still didn't know what the story was about, didn't understand the odd and two-dimensional characters, and didn't even bother to the end to find out what happened, because I didn't care. A rare miss.
What a bizarre reading experience! For most of the middle of the novel, I felt like I couldn't possibly read one more line - I disliked it that much. But the last few pages blew me away. I would love to hear others' reactions.
The book is unfinished, possibly never to be finished, because I couldn't get into it. The opening chapters weren't very good and I didn't feel motivated to try to read more.
12 of us in a book group started this. Only one finished it and only because she obsessively finishes every book she starts. Everyone else found it too weird or too disturbing.
One of my all time favorites. I'd hesitate to recommend it to most people I know though. It's an odd, odd little book that for some reason really resonated with me.
hmm. Usually like Theroux very much--- this one, I just couldn't get into and stopped half-way. It's slow and redundant, and no one character really grabbed me.
I love everything he writes but I can still picture the scenery and feel like I have known these characters my whole life. Paul Theroux really brings you in
A chance encounter book. I really like this story - about a meglomaniacal savior-type, looking to save America through its diet. Fun read.
Interesting enough to explain why I keep reading him, but always feel a bit unfinished/incomplete with him too.
I WOULD read this book more than once if I could ever find a copy in the stores. It's amazing. A.Ma.Zing.
I enjoy Theroux's nonfiction much more than his novels. This one wasn't bad though ...
Jan 01, 2011 Jim rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
I'm a big fan of Theroux, but his fiction is often hit or miss. And this was a big miss.
....someone read this book and explain....
Can't finish it, too wierd and disturbing.
Jan Lewis
Diet is so very important!
May 10, 2011 Cody added it
Shelves: need-to-finish
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Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin. Although perhaps best know...more
More about Paul Theroux...
The Great Railway Bazaar Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town The Mosquito Coast Riding the Iron Rooster The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas

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