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As with Big Fishand The Watermelon King, Wallace offers here a Southern novel full of whimsy and folklore. Clearly influenced by Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty, Wallace tells the story of Henry Walker, a magician with Jeremiah Musgrove's Chinese Circus in the 1950s South. As a boy in Albany, NY, Henry learned magic from the pasty-faced Mr. Sebastian, believing his mentor to be the devil, and lost his beloved sister as a result. Through his travels, Henry constantly loses those he cares about. As Wallace slowly reveals that the supernatural has less to do with Henry's fate than he thinks, the story grows more powerful. This captivating morality tale is told from multiple points of view well narrated by Norman Dietz, L.J. Ganser, Katherine Kellgren, T. Ryder Smith, Tom Stechschulte, and, especially, Alyssa Bresnahan, whose character's unrequited love for Henry is particularly poignant. Highly recommended for all collections.