Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mirror Thief” as Want to Read:
The Mirror Thief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mirror Thief

by
3.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,427 Ratings  ·  321 Reviews
The core story is set in Venice in the sixteenth century, when the famed makers of Venetian glass were perfecting one of the old world's most wondrous inventions: the mirror. An object of glittering yet fearful fascination—was it reflecting simple reality, or something more spiritually revealing?—the Venetian mirrors were state of the art technology and subject to industri ...more
Hardcover, 582 pages
Published May 12th 2016 by Melville House Publishing (first published May 10th 2016)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mirror Thief, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Chaya Nebel agree with Mitch -- it's a pretentious literary quirk. I am finding it (still wading through at 300 pages) very irritating. There are times when it's…moreagree with Mitch -- it's a pretentious literary quirk. I am finding it (still wading through at 300 pages) very irritating. There are times when it's not clear if the words are thoughts or dialogue, and times when it's not clear if it's character or narrator speaking. I am this close to ending my sojourn through this book....(less)
Mitch McCrimmon I looked at the Kindle sample of this book - maybe I'm old fashioned but one word sentences, no quotes around dialogue, sorry not for me. Also, the…moreI looked at the Kindle sample of this book - maybe I'm old fashioned but one word sentences, no quotes around dialogue, sorry not for me. Also, the narrator is too self-conscious as if taking our hand like a tour guide pointing things out rather than just telling a story as if the narrator was invisible. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
karen
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
…we sometimes find that our most momentous decisions are unseen by us as we make them. We perceive only a confusion of paltry choices, like the tesserae of a mosaic. Only with distance do prevailing images become clear.

in which the novel teasingly moons you with its own mission statement.

this is a great big enjoyable monster of a book.

before we start, i need to say that the ONLY reason i gave it four stars instead of five is because this is a book divided into three alternating narratives and w
...more
Kathleen
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read it before anyone else because my spouse wrote it. But it's really really good, truly, not just because my spouse wrote it.
Perry
May 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
Annoyed, Baffled, Confounded
Three Ordeals Spanning Centuries
Which Description Refers to Reading this Novel, not the Stories Therein



Perhaps I wasn't worldly enough to connect the dots. The novel was really well written. All 3 story strands headed in the right direction, holding my interest for the big payoff. You know, the part of the novel in which the author ties it all together to the "moment of last suspense" in the trusty old Freytag's Pyramid.

With fifty plus pages left, the three storylin
...more
Carol
Apr 03, 2016 added it
Shelves: e-galley, fiction, debut
Outstanding Debut!

My sincere thanks are extended to Melville House and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read The Mirror Thief in e-galley format, due to be published May 10, 2016.

The Mirror Thief is quite an ambitious debut. Seay is clearly a new voice to watch. A little intrigue, a little magic, mixed in with history and a mystery, The Mirror Thief takes us on a captivating quest across place and time to find a gambling con artist. Fascinating characters, expertly imagined and thoroughly engagi
...more
Netta
Apr 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
The blurb of this book promises us something as good as Umberto Eco and David Mitchell’s writing. In reality, I’m afraid, it’s not even Dan Brown. It’s one of those pretentious books where art, history and supposedly sophisticated prose are mixed to throw its author’s erudition and brilliance right at poor reader’s face. Where Eco, Mitchell and Cabré are just effortlessly glowing with quick-witted intelligence, Seay does his utmost to live up to (most likely) his own expectations. To hook the re ...more
TL
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to TL by: karen
Shelves: favorites
My book fairy has graced me again :) *big hugs *
---
It ain't me specifically me I'm worried about, Mister Welles. It's everything else. I just don't always feel like I belong in this world.

An intricate, enchanting, incredible feat of a story here... One of those novels that leaves you thinking over the words long after you've finished. I found myself often pausing in my reading, not because I was pushing myself to get through it but for two reasons: To think over the words and the story, and be
...more
Timothy Moore
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible book - both thrilling and intelligent - I get a headache thinking about how much research Martin must have done to bring these three eras alive (the book follows characters in three distinct periods). I don't want to spoil too much, as I think part of the surprise is uncovering the mystery of the book itself, BUT I will say this - what really stood out to me, even beyond the surreal mysticism and beautiful writing, was Martin's deft examination of trauma and how it shapes a ...more
Mark
Apr 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really had high hopes for this one. REALLY DISAPPOINTING. Rambling, overwritten and BORING! If the author spent half as much effort on a plot instead of filling page after page of uninteresting minutia and had an editor cut the book by half it might have been OK. Seay actually has a decent writing style, so I think maybe a future novel will be better. Slogged through half of it and couldn't take any more. I hate not finishing a book, but there are too many good books to read to waste time on t ...more
Neil
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Three stars from me, although that's a bit higher than I want to rate it. But 2 stars would be too mean. I don't want this review to put others off reading this book, though, because I would really like to know what others make of it!

The reviews make mention of David Mitchell and even, on occasion, Thomas Pynchon. It is nothing like David Mitchell and even less like Thomas Pynchon. If you pick it up purely because of those comparisons, be warned.

This is a book about a book (The Mirror Thief is a
...more
Stacia
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I have an Advance Reader Copy of The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay, due to be released in a week or two by Melville House. I read the entire thing yesterday, a feat of a certain sort since it clocks in at just under 600 pages. Melville House is quoting lots of indie booksellers & reviewers giving high praise to this one so I was anticipating a lot, I think. This is Seay's first novel &, as that, it is quite impressive. However, some of the descriptions are comparing it to David Mitchell's ...more
Book Riot Community
Fans of David Mitchell will enjoy this enormous, epic novel of interwoven stories transcending time and space. Set in three different Venices – Italy, Los Angeles, and Los Angeles – and involving mirror makers, espionage, ominous councils, secret plans and more, this is an utterly original story that will spin your brain in your skull.


Tune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: http://bookriot.com/category/all-the-...
Robert Stewart
Mar 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
The comparisons to Pynchon, Nabokov, Eco and David Mitchell are not only unwarranted, but not even apt . When I became convinced I was reading YA (about 200 pages in) I shelved it. I love big novels, but this is insubstantial bloat.
Tracey
This is one of the times when my having met the author helped me finish the book. I'm not sure I would have finished otherwise. At almost 600 pages, I would say that I have a firm grasp of what happened on about 200 of those pages. If I had to take a test, I would have to bs my way through it and hope for the best.

I can see why The Mirror Thief is getting a lot of praise especially for a debut novel. The writing is so descriptive I felt like I was in places I've never been before. It wasn't my m
...more
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : The Mirror Thief - Nevisande : Martin Seay - ISBN : 1612195148 - ISBN13 : 9781612195148 - Dar 582 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2016
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

So yes, I admit it, I went into Martin Seay's The Mirror Thief specifically searching for things I could find wrong with it, because it's been the subject this year of overhype -- a 600-page debut novel that spans across three different timeframes and genres, it's earned Seay a lot more mainstream press th
...more
Blaine DeSantis
May 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I have read real junk books that I have rated a 1*. This is not that bad, but I am wondering if I got a copy of a different book from everyone else who has been raving about this?? It was pretty, pretty bad to put it mildly. First of all the book summaries begins by telling us a bit about the glass and mirror trade in Venice and secrets and mysteries that are happening there in the late 1500's. Then it says there are two other parallel stories that are set in the Venice Beach and at the Venetian ...more
Linda
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Linda by: Booktopia - Edelweiss
Yes, I took more than 6 months to read this book. It was not because I didn't like it. It was too rich for me to digest in a short sitting. I easily got lost in this book (not in a bad way). I was involved in the multiple stories this book relates. The language! Rich, foreign, new! My kind of book. Thank you, Martin Seay!
Greg
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Veronica, a minor character in THE MIRROR THIEF, teaches Curtis Stone about art. She uses her background in art history to inform him that the primary goal of art was to create precise representations of reality. This often meant tracing a camera obscura image. Photography made this approach less important. Thus the modern era in art began by exploring how perception alters reality. “Now it’s all about two eyes and a brain in between.”

This conversation helps to understand Martin Seay’s novel bec
...more
Hunter Beck
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. You will think about it while you sleep. You will dream about it all day long. Most days I could not wait to get back to reading it. This is a book that really consumes your thoughts, with its time bending journey, it keeps your mind spinning. Martin Seay tells this story with inexplicable greatness and resounding depth. A great debut novel. Anxious to see what more is to come. Martin Seay is in my opinion, one of the next greats.
Chaya Nebel
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Very annoying pretentious habit of omitting quotation marks around dialogue, forcing the reader to stop at multiple spots to suss out if it's the narrator speaking or the character, or if the character is thinking or talking. Or which character is talking.

Very annoying pretentious habit of coining compound words. To wit: "artform," "creampuff," "lakebed," "cardcounters," "waterfountain," "groundsquirrels." Etc. Etc.

Excruciating amount of minutiae dealing with setting. Descriptions ad infinitum o
...more
Miglė
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2018
Man, what a book!
Something between a hard-boiled story and a kabbalistic treatise with a flavor of beatnik prose, this book is ultimately about wanting to penetrate deeper than the appearances of the world and gain control of it (by gambling, poetry or alchemy) - despite the overwhelming feeling of being at loss, of being watched, of being a part of process that you don't understand.
The author sets each scene meticulously, describing fleeting details that immediately form a scene you seem to rec
...more
Mark
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
We begin in glitzy Las Vegas, 2003, as a war weary, ex-marine tracks down a con artist gambler, who happens to be an old family friend. We then shift to Venice Beach, circa 1958, where a runaway, New York teenager is in search of a poet, that wrote a little book called The Mirror Thief. It is about an alchemist from the sixteenth century. And finally, you guessed it, we travel to Venice, in the late 1500s and follow this alchemist, as he plans to steal an enchanted mirror.
How the author weaves t
...more
KevinS
May 23, 2016 rated it liked it
This book didn't quite do it for me. Set up as three separate but related stories sort of like Cloud Atlas or Arcadia, this one never tied the stories together to my satisfaction. And I struggled to stay interested in the Venice storyline, which is unfortunate since that's where the actual mirror thievery was happening. The other two settings were very engaging and entertaining and well done, so maybe my reaction here is due to plot. I finished wanting to read about Stan's abilities and outlook ...more
Boris Feldman
700 pages later, I still don't understand a thing. The prose is good. Some of the pieces are engaging. But I wish that I had given up after 200 pages.
Greg
Jul 13, 2016 rated it did not like it
After 20 pages I decided life is to short to finish this book. It's a collection of random sentences, that go nowhere. I am moving on.
Lauren
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the first time in a long time, I finished this book and didn't want to immediately start another. Like Stanley Glass, I thought about just picking up the puzzle box again. Engaging characters with secrets, excellent writing, and (mostly) well-paced plot - these things make me happy. But what really snared me were the ideas presented on perception, and reality, and memory. The motif of mirrors is repeated again and again, and the narrators look repeatedly for a clarity of vision: to literally ...more
Katie Lawrence
Apr 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
I do not understand in any way what I just read... I had high hopes for a thrilling, surprising ending and instead was left feeling very confused. I'll write more tomorrow once I've had some time to process.

Review for the Library Journal:

Following three different stories during three different time periods, this debut novel is a complex read. Curtis, a former military policeman, searches for missing family friend Stanley in Las Vegas’s Venetian hotel casino. Curtis believes Stanley stole money
...more
Latkins
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a mind-boggling epic novel with an alternating narrative between three interconnected stories. One is set in Las Vegas in 2003, and follows a first Gulf War veteran, Curtis, as he searches for his father's old friend Stanley, a professional gambler who's suspected of being involved in pulling off a sting in New Jersey. One is set in Los Angeles and follows Stanley in 1958, when he was a homeless teenage drifter, living on his wits, and was searching for the author of a book of poetry, Th ...more
Karin
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is bananas. There's three stories at once happening here, and how someone even came up with this idea as a book premise is beyond me. Took me a while to get into it, but at some point I found myself completely hooked into Stanley and Crivano. Lots about alchemy and seeing and truth and how we present ourselves to the world and how history repeats themes over.
Kate
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful, complex debut novel. The story takes place in 3 different time periods in 3 different Venices. This was not an easy, breezy read, but the payoff at the end was so worth it. Martin Seay writes beautiful sentences. This is a book full of flowery prose and without quotation marks, but throughout, I always knew who was speaking. I so enjoyed this long literary story!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The ancient Venetian background story... 1 30 May 02, 2016 05:36PM  
  • The Lost Time Accidents
  • Golden Hill
  • A History of Money: A Novel
  • Smoke
  • Morgue: A Life in Death
  • Join
  • Rules for Werewolves
  • Acts of the Assassins
  • The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome
  • With My Dog Eyes
  • Cmentarze
  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
  • Hope and Red (Empire of Storms, #1)
  • The No World Concerto
  • The Union Jack
  • Marlene
  • Ways to Disappear
  • Too Like the Lightning (Terra Ignota, #1)
73 followers
Martin Seay is the author of the novel THE MIRROR THIEF, published by Melville House in May 2016. Originally from Texas, he lives in Chicago with his spouse, the writer Kathleen Rooney.
More about Martin Seay

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Take Me with You
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Little Giant of Aberdeen County
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Her Sister's Shoes (Sweeney Sisters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rock Harbor Collection: Without a Trace, Beyond a Doubt, Into the Deep, Cry in the Night, and Silent Night (Rock Harbor #1-5)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Thousand Tomorrows (Cody Gunner, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Shoeless Joe
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Death in Venice
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Blonde
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ever After (Lost Love, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Rescue
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Lords of Discipline
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Sheltering Sky
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Gena/Finn
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Charles Martin Collection: When Crickets Cry, Chasing Fireflies, and Wrapped in Rain
    $14.99 $3.99
  • Remember Tuesday Morning (9/11, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Scavenger's Daughters (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Under the Udala Trees
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Streets Have No King
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Passion
    $11.00 $1.99
  • This Dark Road to Mercy
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Language of Hoofbeats
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Not Perfect: A Novel
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Seekers (Kent Family Chronicles, #3)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Don Quixote
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Essex Serpent
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Storycatcher
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Domestic Violets
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Devil Wears Prada
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Half a Heart
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Keeper of Secrets: A Novel
    $9.24 $1.99
  • A Garden of Earthly Delights (Wonderland Quartet, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Golden Notebook
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Life of Christ
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Good Mother
    $5.74 $1.99
  • The Palest Ink (Tales of the Scavenger's Daughters Prequel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Go: A Coming of Age Novel
    $4.99 $1.99
  • As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Just a Drop of Water
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Child in Time
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Lowcountry Stranger (Sweeney Sisters Series Book 2)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Man in 3B
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Enemy Women
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Save Me
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Better Nate Than Ever (Better Nate Than Ever #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Time Bomb
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Heat and Light: A Novel
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Reunion
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
    $16.99 $1.99
  • Stay Up With Me
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Loser
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Map and the Territory
    $8.99 $2.99
  • You Know Me Well
    $7.09 $2.99
  • Father's Day
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Skeletons at the Feast
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Even Now (Lost Love, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Moonlight Palace
    $3.99 $0.99
  • This Bright Beauty
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Intervention (An Intervention Novel)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Star Sand
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Nanreath Hall
    $11.74 $1.99
“If one is to wield power, he says, then one must control the image of power. Or” 1 likes
“The moon will answer through the smoke: Imagine me not as a mirror, but as an opening, an aperture, a pupil admitting light. Imagine the earth curves around you, not under. Imagine this world to be the eye of God, and the ocean it's retina. Know that you are always seen.” 1 likes
More quotes…