Millroy the Magician by Paul Theroux

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Fourteen-year-old Jilly Farina was enthralled with Millroy the Magician at the Barnstable County Fair. After all, he once turned a girl from the audience into a glass of milk and drank her, But when Jilly stepped into the wickerwork coffin during a performance, she had no idea he would transform her dreary life into something truly magical, and a touch bizarre.

For Millroy was no ordinary magician. He could smell the future, and Jilly was going to be part of it. Yet not even Millroy could foresee how far determination and a dream could take him, as he and his new young assistant hit the road -and the airwaves -- to save America's unhealthy appetite and floundering soul....

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Paul Theroux

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Paul Edward Theroux was born on April 10, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts and is an acclaimed travel writer. After attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst he joined the Peace Corps and taught in Malawi from 1963 to 1965. He also taught in Uganda at Makerere University and in Singapore at the University of Singapore. Although Theroux has also written travel books in general and about various modes of transport, his name is synonymous with the literature of train travel. Theroux's 1975 best-seller, The Great Railway Bazaar, takes the reader through Asia, while his second book about train travel, The Old Patagonian Express (1979), describes his trip from Boston to the tip of South America. His third contribution to the railway travel genre, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China, won the Thomas Cook Prize for best literary travel book in 1989. His literary output also includes novels, books for children, short stories, articles, and poetry. His novels include Picture Palace (1978), which won the Whitbread Award and The Mosquito Coast (1981), which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Theroux is a fellow of both the British Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographic Society.
Published January 1, 1993 by HAMISH HAMILTON. 400 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Millroy the Magician

Kirkus Reviews

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When Jilly Farina, a 14-year-old waif from Marstons Mills, first sees Millroy the magician performing at Foskett's Funfair, it's codependency at first sight: Millroy, sweeping the girl along on his travels, provides her with a stability her minimal family life has lacked, and she gives him a sens...

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Publishers Weekly

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Coraghessan Boyle's recent The Road to Wellville , Millroy plans a literal purging of America, and in a barnstorming transcontinental roadshow, related by his accomplice and amanuensis, teenage runaway Jilly Farina, Millroy sets about spreading the word to the constipated faithful.

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The Independent

Millroy sees her at a fair, spirits her away from her savage white-trash folks, makes her pretend to be a boy, tells her she is the secret of his power, lures her towards the heart of his magic and mystery.

Oct 10 1993 | Read Full Review of Millroy the Magician

The Independent

Although Theroux contrives one or two more or less obvious biblical parallels - Millroy's last meal with his followers is a variation on the Last Supper, and in Hawaii he appears to raise a woman from the dead - I kept being reminded of H G Wells's great expose of shamanism, Tono-Bungay.

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