The Grift

The Grift

3.9 17
by Debra Ginsberg
     
 

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Marina Marks has been on the grift since she was a child, forced into the psychic business by a junkie mother who was always willing to use her daughter to scam an extra buck. But when Marina wakes up one day with the actual ability to see the future, she finds her freedom–and her life–in danger. After predicting a murder exactly as it happens, Marina

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Overview

Marina Marks has been on the grift since she was a child, forced into the psychic business by a junkie mother who was always willing to use her daughter to scam an extra buck. But when Marina wakes up one day with the actual ability to see the future, she finds her freedom–and her life–in danger. After predicting a murder exactly as it happens, Marina becomes the sole suspect. Now she’s desperate to clear her name–and to discover the meaning behind her visions.

“[A] clever thriller . . . Ginsberg has a way with offbeat characters.” –New York Times Book Review

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Grift is a gift with no strings attached…a satisfyingly voyeuristic vision of a mysterious stranger’s supernaturally charged fortunes."
The New York Times

“[A] clever thriller . . . Ginsberg has a way with offbeat characters.”
New York Times Book Review

“Ginsberg smoothly sketches captivatingly flawed characters.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Debra Ginsberg's compelling second novel…isn't so much a mystery as a story about a woman forced to take a hard look at herself and find the courage to change.”
The Boston Globe

"The Grift mixes mystery and romance...[and] is embellished with a host of lively misfits, a serial philanderer, a spoiled rich woman hoping to get pregnant and a gay man in unrequited love.”
The Chicago Sun-Times

“Usually when Marina Marks, who’s made a career of faking psychic powers, looks into the future, all she can see is cash. But then she starts receiving eerily accurate visions in this rollicking novel of twists and turns. We predict you'll love it!”
Redbook

“A rollicking novel, full of lies and uncontrollable fictions.”
The Los Angeles Times

“[A] pleasantly chilling, end-of-summer read."
New York Daily News

“Memoirist and novelist Ginsberg mixes supernatural and film noir elements in this mystery about a woman whose living as a psychic falls apart when her psychic powers become too real .... Marina is a richly drawn, deeply involving heroine ....”
—Kirkus

“Ginsberg's second novel is an entertaining whodunit and an invigorating tale about a damaged young storefront psychic who learns how to live truthfully….Ginsberg thoroughly exploits her clever premise, and Marina's handling of her troubles–romantic, professional, mystical–ring true through to the redemptive end.”
—Publisher’s Weekly

“Ginsberg…has created an interesting cast of characters to explore a world that is embraced by some and viewed by many with deep skepticism. The story flows along, and readers looking for a different twist on the psychological novel will enjoy the trip.”
—Library Journal

“The Grift is a gift—a fresh voice and story, with a winning heroine. Another triumph for Debra Ginsberg,
who clearly has many gifts of her own.”
—Laura Lippman, author of What the Dead Know and Another Thing to Fall

“Debra Ginsberg has done it again in this compulsively readable, suspenseful, and very this-worldly tale of a psychic and her desperate clientele.”
—Janet Fitch, author of Paint it Black and White Oleander

Praise for Blind Submission

“Spawns insurmountable joy . . . A cleverly told, genre-bending tale that combines intrigue, romance,
a touch of mystery and strong female characters.”
USA Today

“A hilarious insider’s look . . . Makes for a clever mystery as Ginsberg adroitly amps up the suspense.”
New York Times Book Review

“The pleasure comes in waves . . . If you’re a book person, give yourself a treat and take a look at Blind Submission.”
—Carolyn See, Washington Post

Liesl Schillinger
Ms. Ginsberg shows a remarkable capacity to inhabit the minds and motives of others, her mental camera panning impressively to take in not only a lead character or two but extras as well…Leaving aside any question of tingling paranormal subtext, The Grift presents a lifelike, multishaded rendering of San Diego's blend of cultures, classes, ancestries and motivations. Ms. Ginsberg folds Marina into the lives and complicated romances of the locals like a stripe of colored sand in a painted-desert souvenir bottle…The Grift is a gift with no strings attached, no dark outcome to dread, a satisfyingly voyeuristic vision of a mysterious stranger's supernaturally charged fortune.
—The New York Times
Redbook
Usually when Marina Marks, who's made a career of faking psychic powers, looks into the future, all she can see is cash. But then she starts receiving eerily accurate visions in this rollicking novel of twists and turns. We predict you'll love it!

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307382733
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
08/04/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,400,795
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.75(d)

What People are saying about this

Laura Lippman
"The Grift is a gift-a fresh voice and story, with a winning heroine. Another triumph for Debra Ginsberg, who clearly has many gifts of her own."--(Laura Lippman, author of What the Dead Know and Another Thing to Fall)
Janet Fitch
"Debra Ginsberg has done it again in this compulsively readable, suspenseful, and very this-worldly tale of a psychic and her desperate clientele."--(Janet Fitch, author of Paint it Black and White Oleander)

Meet the Author

DEBRA GINSBERG is the author of the novel Blind Submission, as well as three memoirs: Waiting, Raising Blaze, and About My Sisters.

Customer Reviews

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Grift 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my first novel. I recently finished the book and I hate to say that I wished it never end. The story line kept my attention throughout and I couldn't wait to see what happened next with Marina's clients. The experience from being told you have a gift as a child to finding out that you indeed have the gift to see the future when she became an adult but not enough to understand the impact to prevent a murder. Marina's character was strong and she never gave up on herself and her ability to help others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Did you notice how the 'r' is slightly dropped in the title? The definitions that precede the beginning of the novel explain this. 'grift - n. a group of methods used for obtaining money falsely through the use of swindles, frauds, etc.' 'gift - n. a special ability or capacity' Intriguing...and even more so after the prologue. While out on the boardwalk with her junkie mother an old fortune teller identifies a young girl - Marina - as having the 'gift'. Her mother continues to exploit this ideas as Marina is growing up. Fast forward to the present and we find Marina making a living as a psychic, but as a grifter. She is very adept at reading someone's body language and small clues they provide to give them 'psychic' readings. Marina has to leave Florida quickly and she opens a new shop in California, with a valuable ruby ring from her last client on a chain around her neck. While working at a party as a fortune teller, she meets Madeline - a spoiled rich woman, Cooper a confused gay man in love with Max, an even more confused psychiatrist. These introductions lead to more new clients whose lives are inextricably intertwined with each other's and with Marina's. And the ruby ring seems to be a part of all of it. Through a seemingly inevitable chain of events, Marina predicts a murder, but then becomes the prime suspect. But - she's not faking any longer- her psychic ability is actually real now. She just can't see the murderer's face. Just released last month, The Grift defies categorizing for me. It's a mystery, it has some 'otherworldly' aspects but is also a love story and just a really good all round read. It doesn't descend into unbelievability despite the psychic theme but rather presents a 'what if' alternative. Every character was distinctly drawn and came to life for me. Some are flawed, others lovable, some despicable but all come across as real. I found myself reading 'just one more chapter' to find out what would happen next. It's always a treat to find a 'new' ( for me) author like Debra Ginsberg.
Anonymous 8 months ago
This was a different novel; engaging and quirky without being pretentious. I really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kathy Mikulski More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Quick, fun, and easy read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MaxreaderTX More than 1 year ago
Ginsberg has quickly become one of my favorite authors! This story about a "psychic" is a fun ride! Ginsberg is great at endearing the reader to the eclectic cast of characters! It's very cool how all of Marina's clients are randomly interconnected and how the story progresses for each through the "readings" with Marina. Really fast and enjoyable read. If you have ever wondered whether the "gift" is real or not, you will love this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i live where this story takes place. i enjoyed reading this book for at least this reason. the author got the landscape right. however, her vision of the "culture" is a caricature at best. i find it hard to believe that it was a notable book for the new york times. it does not have that kind of depth at all. however, it is a VERY entertaining light read. the characters are well developed. the story is fun. it is a beach read:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
StatenIslandReader More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed this author's style, tone and characters. It was very original and enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lilpiggie More than 1 year ago
The Grift is just that, a scam, or...is it really more of a gift (noting the dropped "r" in the title)? This is where the questions start, right from the beginning. A woman who has been trained by her mother to be a fortuneteller since she was a child learns that telling people what they want to hear can be very profitable. As an adult, she stumbles into actually being able to see what the future holds for her clients and she is compelled to tell them the truth, but suddenly they are not so eager for her advice. In fact, business becomes nearly non-existent, friends disappear and everything begins to fall apart around her. There are multiple storylines going on throughout the book, following her clients lives, but they all revolve around thier psychic friend. Soon they are intermingled and when she becomes involved in the circumstances of a murder she must choose to use the gift that she has, but also her skills as a grifter. Beyond the actual story, this is a great book that makes you think about the line between telling someone the whole truth or telling them what they want or need to hear. It raises interesting questions about the secrets that everyone keeps and what one would choose to do with the power of knowing the secrets of others. I found it a very interesting and unique read. It was a bit choppy moving back and forth among the characters, but not difficult to follow. The mystery had a somewhat predictable ending, but it was not until the very end that you you could be sure what would come of things, so it certainly was not a simple tale. I would definitely recommend it as something truly different and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago