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Now You See It . . .

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  329 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Maximillian Delacorte was once the world’s greatest stage magician. Now a recluse, suffering from a mysterious disease, he lures his family and associates to his lonely estate for an afternoon of magic, madness, and revenge. Bodies appear and disappear without warning, severed heads speak words of hate, and nothing is ever quite what it appears. As grisly tricks lead to ev ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Tor Books (first published 1995)
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I Am Legend and Other Stories by Richard MathesonHell House by Richard MathesonWhat Dreams May Come by Richard MathesonThe Shrinking Man by Richard MathesonNightmare At 20,000 Feet by Richard Matheson
The Best of Richard Matheson
21st out of 27 books — 32 voters
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Community Reviews

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While I DID enjoy the pov (I DO believe this is the first novel I've read that was first person from the point of view of a mute, paralyzed stroke victim), the excessive amount of twists kind of made my head spin. I feel like, were it not for the last bit of the book, it definitely would have warranted 4 stars from me. As it was, it was a fast read and fairly enjoyable.
I love books or movies that have to do with magic and I've been meaning to read more classic genre authors, so I picked this book up at the library. Definitely not a horror as it was shelved, this story is a very entertaining mystery with more twists than a yoga class and, of course, magic tricks. I thought that one of the plot aspects (the gender switch ups) strained the story's credibility as oppose to Prestige, for example, but suspending disbelief has always been the requirement for magic sh ...more
This kept me reading because, like the narrator, I could not get how the insanity could continue.
I went to bed after finishing part 1, and just kept thinking what on Earth is going on?

This book should be a movie, preferably around Halloween.
It isn't a slasher type, but it is filled with enough jumps to keep you going. And the shtick doesn't get old, even when you don't believe it.
A simple set, 6 actors, done. The hardest part would be learning the magic.

And the ending, oh the last 20 pages were
this book starts out kinda slow but once you get into the book it has some really good twists.
I can't give a stronger reaction than "ehhh". This was basically the grandstanding of an author (and characters) who wanted to see how many things they could pull over on the reader (and other characters). When the book says that from the outset, then it's natural for the reader to doubt everything, so I ended up anticipating every single twist -- even if I didn't know exactly HOW it would work (this character is dead, not dead, etc), I knew it would. By the end you just doubt every word on the ...more
It's been several years since I've read a Richard Matheson (according to my notes, the last book of his I read was the Noir omnibus, back in 2006), and while I still think he has an effective, intriguing style, I have to say, his stuff just doesn't have the same punch as it used to. I don't think it's him, necessarily, but what he wrote earlier in his career seemed to be better than what he wrote later on. Now You See It... falls into his later oeuvre, and it's ... well, honestly, it's a little ...more
Toby Elliott
Richard Matheson has written a pop-Jacobean revenge drama, complete with magicians and legerdemain. a zippy, largely unchallenging read that, even if you think you have it figured out from the onset, will probably surprise you. four stars because of the somewhat improbable amount of double-crossing.
Interesting to read and you can finish it in one sitting. I experience while read this that I wanted to know more on what's going to happen as I can't stop reading. It's my first time reading a book from this author and it already caught my attention. I felt as if I'm in the position of the narrator, that it must be tough just by observing on what's going on. A well plotted murder mystery. Although I didn't find it scary but you'll go crazy of all the madness that is going on inside the Delacort ...more
Jean-Pierre Vidrine
After reading two of Matheson's heavier stories, I Am Legend and The Incredible Shrinking Man, this book with its lighter tone was refreshing. That is not to say that this is a story with no real weight to it. The novel is an engaging tale with genuinely surprising twists that never fail to the deliver the unexpected. The idea of people invited to a big house for a night of murder and mayhem is one that has been done an awful lot. But no one has done it quite like this. In scaling things down to ...more
couldn't get into this at all - so skipped to the end
so glad it was a 5 for £1 choice....but hey will recycle it
This was my first experience with Richard Matheson. I found the point of view unique and interesting. The twists were fun but they did start to wear on my patience because I wanted to *know* what was really going on and going to happen. Matheson did a good job hooking me so I couldn't put the book down, and tricking me on more than one occasion. Finally, I just told myself, "Don't try to figure it out. Just read to the end and find out already." Fun, if you're patient.
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Emilio Amaro
A fast paced novel from a master of horror that reads like an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. If you're looking for a fast paced and enjoyable read than I would recommend this to you.
Jeff Miller
I generally really like Richard Matheson, but this one was too manipulative and dark. In a story involving a stage magician seeking revenge you expect not to believe anything until the last page. Certainly true here, but there was only one character to really like. That one character was the father who was paralyzed from a stroke and forced to watch as everything unfolds.
With it all taking place in one room over an evening, with a limited set of characters, I suspect this may have been developed from an idea for a play. Most of the characters are unfortunately unsympathetic, and the endless twists (and credulousness of the narrator) get to be a bit much. The end is satisfying and leaves you with a good feeling on finishing this mediocre novel.
Pretty good whodunit that will leave you guessing until the very end. Also, this particular book it written as a play script (in my honest opinion at least) so you might have to adjust to the style. Overall this was a fun read!
This double-crossing murder mystery involving a magician and his adult son seemed like Matheson was challening himself to put in as many plot twists as possible without turning into a farce. Almost has the feel of a stage play because of the small cast and the fact that the entire story takes place in one room.
Really good quick read. Filled to the brim with twists and turns, and I love books about magic so it was definitely entertaining. And as some others have mentioned, this would be wonderful as a play. I wish someone would do that.
Absolutely magical. Har har har...okay bad joke. But this novel's twists and turns only could come from one place, el genio Richard Matheson. I tried to explain it to my husband when I finished and just got hopelessly confused.
Jul 12, 2008 Renee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mysterys.
Recommended to Renee by: Skyesix
This book has lots of twists up the the last page. I like books like this one, and it would make a good play, because the setting is in one room the entire time. It is a quick and easy read.
It has been quite some time since I read this, but I know I enjoyed it. Some interesting twists and turns. Not my all-time favorite Matheson, but certainly worth reading.
Points for the narrator--an elderly man paralyzed by a stroke that everyone thinks is brain dead. From his wheelchair, he witnesses the murderous events unfold. Very clever book.
This book is definitely a page turner. I couldn't put the book down. A quick fast read. Stephen King had mentioned him as an inspiration for his horror writing.
Fun style--except for the relentless cabbage-head references. But basically just a hall-of-mirrors magic act; another flourish and voila!--nothing in the handkerchief.
River Alexandra
I love this book. Its very odd and the point of view is certainly skewed but it is really worth the time. Its fast, funny, sardonic and just plain wonderful.
More like a 3.7 -- Clever and very entertaining farce with countless plot turns and surprises, but stretches credibility a little too far by the conclusion.
Amanda Fox
Not Matheson's best work. I was quickly irritated by it and the way it just seemed to continue in an almost never ending circle.
Benjamin Card
Characterization: 4 stars

Plot: 4 stars

Writing style: 3.5 stars

Page turner: 4.5 stars

Heart factor: 3.5 stars
Brian Sammons
A lesser known book by Matheson, but I found it quite the page turner. I finished it in two sittings.
Twisting, turning, and full of magic...what's NOT to like?
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w ...more
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“How shall I typify what happened? Passion play? Somewhat. Weird tale? Indubitably. Horror story? Pretty close. Grotesque melodrama? Certainly. Black comedy? Your point of view will determine that. Perhaps it was a combination of them all...
So, to the story. A chronicle of greed and cruelty, horror and rapacity, sadism and murder.
Love, American style.”
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