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Now You See It . . .

3.43  ·  Rating Details ·  445 Ratings  ·  47 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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Nov 05, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 04, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-crime
Synopsis: "Some years ago, the Great Delacorte, a famed stage magician, came down with a stroke that left him in a vegetative state, able to move only his eyes. The entire action of the novel is witnessed through these eyes as Delacorte sits in the Magic Room of his country estate, a room custom-tailored to display stage illusions. Delacorte's son, Max, has taken his name and place as an illusionist in every effort to replace his father. Max is supported by his wife Cassandra and her amazingly i ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Bandit rated it liked it
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
Иван Величков
May 06, 2016 Иван Величков rated it it was amazing
Shelves: Кримки
Чудесна криминална сцена, перфектно описана от Матисън.
Великият Делакорте, известен илюзионист от години е в състояние да движи само очите си, в следствие на инсулт. Синът му, продължава семейната традиция до въпросната вечер. Цялата история се разказва от парализирания баща, който е перфектната публика за последното шоу на сина.
Множество сюжетни обрати, подвеждащи връзки и преплитащи се интриги ни водят до разплитането на трагедията, която се разиграва в магическия кабинет на сина.
Историята те
Sep 10, 2016 Philipp rated it it was ok
Shelves: america, magic
A book about a stage magician from the guy who wrote I Am Legend? Sign me up! (found it for a dollar at the Save The Children book-sale)

But it quickly falls apart - everything that happens is later revealed to be at least 2 or 3 twists in one, to the point that you as the reader just go 'meh' when something shocking happens, you learn quickly that nothing really happens, it suffers from the same ennui Shyamalan's career suffers from. Made even worse by the narrator, a wheelchair bound locked in
Jun 27, 2010 Aras rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
Jun 27, 2008 Skyesix rated it liked it
this book starts out kinda slow but once you get into the book it has some really good twists.
Sep 06, 2013 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark, mystery, 2013
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
Mar 01, 2015 Drew rated it it was amazing
In the fiction work "Now You See It..." author Richard Matheson aims to mystify and amaze the reader as he tells the story of events told by a stroke victims and his accounts of a bizarre and mysterious afternoon of unimaginable events. His point in writing this book is in an effort to entertain.
The theme of this book can clearly be understood to be that things are not always what they appear. As the story unfolds it constantly switches paths being very fast paced leaving the reader unable to
Mar 25, 2011 Lora rated it it was ok
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
Nov 27, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-find
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
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
Oct 17, 2012 Alluka rated it really liked it
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
Jan 24, 2017 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know those WritingPrompts challenges to cram as many twists into a plot? This is one of those in book form. Or a lost Daffy Duck script the way Max hops around...

Here's the thing - it is honestly exhausting to read. There's a twist every couple chapters and you can practically hear the dramatic "dun dun duuuuuun" as a chapter ends on a cliffhanger before a commercial break
It doesn't make a good mystery (nothing for the reader to grab onto long enuff) and requires waaay too much suspension of
Sep 08, 2015 steffy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books
Richard Matheson seems to have two modes: really fantastic and ... silly. With that said I didn't hate this one (especially not as much as I despised "What Dreams May Come"), but I did find it awfully silly.

It kind of read like an R.L. Stine or a Christopher Pike book, for lack of better description. A stab at being scary and mysterious, but totally missing the mark and just walking up and saying "boo!"

However, it is Richard Matheson, so there's a lot to be said for good writing. At least there'
Jun 14, 2008 Rebekah rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 17, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by the author who wrote "I am Legend" - the original - not the movie. Stephen King and others always mention this author as someone who inspired them. So you have to like quirky, sometimes gory, sometimes horror. This book, though, is like an Agatha Christie book that gets derailed at the beginning of every chapter. Very quick book. And you have to have some appreciation for magic. But it was great! About a magician who… just read it.
Oct 12, 2011 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Toby Elliott
Feb 15, 2014 Toby Elliott rated it really liked it
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.
Jeff Miller
Dec 03, 2013 Jeff Miller rated it liked it
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.
Kay Solo
Jan 01, 2017 Kay Solo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book. I enjoyed the constant twists and misdirection. The writing style and formatting took some getting used to. Sometimes a line break meant a new character was speaking and other times it didn't, so I'd occasionally have to go back and verify who was talking or doing something. That aside, it was a pretty good read.
Jan 22, 2008 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2003
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.
Angus McKeogh
Mar 24, 2015 Angus McKeogh rated it it was ok
Way too many twists and turns. Overdone and ridiculous. And here's a tip: during a mystery in book form it's completely idiotic and unbelievable to have multiply people dressed in disguised (and sometimes) multiple disguises; and then make the presumption that they've fooled people they know. Kind of dumb.
May 26, 2015 Wyrmxd rated it it was ok
Una manera distinta de contar una historia que se desarrolla por completo en una única localización. Entretenido y curioso narrador elegido para hablar de lo que es y lo que no es, tanto que al final ya poco te puede sorprender.
Jun 14, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 02, 2012 Katie rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 27, 2013 Nicko rated it really liked it
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!
I'm partial to mysteries that combine the world of magic and magicians, so I'm giving this an extra star just for personal preference. I thought the twists and turns were fun and kept me guessing to the end, however the illusions did strain credibility at times.
Jul 31, 2013 Erica rated it it was amazing
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.
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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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