by Daryl Gregory

Price: $26.95(Hardcover)
Published: June 27, 2017
VN:RO [1.9.20_1166]
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From the Publisher: A generations-spanning family of psychics--both blessed and burdened by their abilities--must use their powers to save themselves from the CIA, the local mafia, and a skeptic hell-bent on discrediting them in this hilarious, tender, magical novel about the invisible forces that bind us. The Telemachus family is known for performing inexplicable feats on talk shows and late-night television. Teddy, a master conman, heads up a clan who possess gifts he only fakes: there's Maureen, who can astral project; Irene, the human lie detector; Frankie, gifted with telekinesis; and Buddy, the clairvoyant. But when, one night, the magic fails to materialize, the family withdraws to Chicago where they live in shame for years. Until: As they find themselves facing a troika of threats (CIA, mafia, unrelenting skeptic), Matty, grandson of the family patriarch, discovers a bit of the old Telemachus magic in himself. Now, they must put past obstacles behind them and unite like never before. But will it be enough to bring The Amazing Telemachus Family back to its amazing life?

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What We Say

It's like the Redford-Newman film "The Sting," but with psychics (and a cute dog and a ray gun straight out of Buck Rogers)! And it's so unclassifiable and fun you might find it in fiction or mystery or even sci-fi but you should definitely find it now and start reading. The Amazing Telemachus Family are almost-world famous psychics...until they're exposed as frauds on "The Mike Douglas Show" back in the 1970s. Now it's the 1990s and this sad-sack group is burdened by what might have been. Oh, and they're burdened by psychic powers after all. (They weren't ALL faking it.) Turns out knowing when someone is lying isn't exactly great for relationships, being able to manipulate objects with your mind won't get you more than some free pinball games if it depends on confidence and the ability to astral project out of your body is just plain embarrassing when you're a 14 year old boy and it only works if you're thinking dirty thoughts about your cousin (not by blood!). In this winning, very funny and very real novel by Daryl Gregory, the rough life of the Telemachus family is beset on all sides by dangers like the Mafia, shadowy government agencies that know psychic ability is real and even the allure of online dating. (You can't tell if someone is lying when reading a computer screen, so it's kind of awesome for a mind reader who wants to try and trust her date.) "Spoonbenders" has all the genre-flipping fun the premise suggests but it's also aching and lovely and sweet, filled with memorable characters like grandfather Ted (who was just a card sharp and con man when he met the love of his life, a woman with real psychic powers), Irene (who had to grow up too fast when her mom died because even being the World's Greatest Psychic won't protect you from cancer) and Buddy (the child cursed with knowledge of the future who must desperately plan for the climactic showdown and pray he doesn't forget something). Highly recommended. -- Michael Giltz

What Others Say

“Masterful. . . . gracefully balances the outrageous melodrama of Chicago mobsters and shadowy government agencies with the ordinary mysteries of family dynamics. . . . Readers will emerge from the fray sure they know each Telemachus down to the smudges on their hearts. A skillfully written family drama that employs quirk and magic with grace.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred) “This gloriously imaginative novel featuring a family of somewhat reluctant psychics has a nifty trick up its sleeve—as whimsical and eccentric as the Telemachus family is, their hopes and desires perfectly mirror our own. Spoonbenders is hilarious, heartfelt and brimming with humanity.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest “Imagine amazing powers—but do so with uncommon creativity, rigor, and humor. You might, if you're lucky, arrive at the delicious drama of the girl who can smell lies; the all-at-once-ness of the boy who can’t not see the future; the great dilemma of the psychic pressed into service as a spy. Daryl Gregory's novel traces the line where gift balances against curse and by the end, we realize he isn’t only talking about amazing powers after all. Spoonbenders is X-Files meets The Sopranos with a real, roaring heart.” —Robin Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore “Did you spend a childhood convinced that you were *this close* to developing telekinetic powers? Me too! The supernatural may elude us still, but there is real magic in Daryl Gregory’s gleeful story of the Amazing Telemachus Family. Spoonbenders is also about the power of belief and whether we can ever escape our tangled family legacies—and why we might not want to.” —Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the World "Daryl Gregory has written a novel as gripping as it is hilarious. The members of the Telemachus family may have powers beyond our own, but in telling their tale, Gregory reminds us of the bits of ordinary magic that are at the heart of every successful family. You will love this book." —Steven Rowley, national bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus “A big generational family story of longing, nostalgia and humor. The writing is so deftly charming and yet deeply felt. Spoonbenders is entertaining and moving—a perfect summer read.” —Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe "A joyfully weird book about psychics and con artists, and the marvels that result from the intermarriage of the two." —Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky “Spoonbenders is brilliant. With the Telemachus clan, Daryl Gregory has created a family that is part J.D. Salinger and part David Foster Wallace. But the most impressive trick in the novel isn’t how they read minds. Gregory’s real gift is how he uses them to show the depths of the human heart.” —Christopher Farnsworth, author of Killfile and Blood Oath

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About The Author
Daryl Gregory
DARYL GREGORY is the author of Afterparty, The Devil's Alphabet, and other novels for adults and young readers. His novella We Are All Completely Fine won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in Oakland, California.
Release Info
  • $26.95 (Hardcover)
  • June 27, 2017
  • Knopf
  • 416
  • 152473182X
  • 9781524731823