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The mirror thief : a novel / Martin Seay.

By: Seay, Martin.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Brooklyn, New York : Melville House, [2017]Edition: First Melville House paperback.Description: 574 pages, 8 unnumbered pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1612195598; 9781612195599.Subject(s): Mirrors -- Fiction | Casinos -- Nevada -- Las Vegas -- Fiction | Venice (Italy) -- Fiction | Las Vegas (Nev.) -- Fiction | Venice (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- FictionGenre/Form: Historical fiction.DDC classification: [Fic] Summary: In sixteenth century Venice, the famed makers of Venetian glass faced death if they tried to leave the island ... but one man schemes to outwit the enforcers of the edict. In 1958 Venice Beach, California, and in today's Venetian casino in Las Vegas, other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret. As the three stories weave together through time and space, the reader is drawn into a world of violence, and obsession.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Publishers Weekly raved that "with near-universal appeal . . . Seay?s debut novel is a true delight, a big, beautiful cabinet of wonders that is by turns an ominous modern thriller, a supernatural mystery, and an enchanting historical adventure story." Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its mix of entertainment and literary bravado.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 industrial espionage by desirous sultans and royals world-wide. But for any of the development team to leave the island was a crime punishable by death. One man, however - a world-weary war hero with nothing to lose - has a scheme he thinks will allow him to outwit the city's terrifying enforcers of the edict, the ominous Council of Ten . . .Meanwhile, in two other Venices - Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa today - two other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret . . .All three stories will weave together into a spell-binding tour-de-force that is impossible to put down - an old-fashioned, stay-up-all-night novel that, in the end, returns the reader to a stunning conclusion in the original Venice . . . and the bedazzled sense of having read a truly original and thrilling work of art. From the Hardcover edition.

Includes Q&A with the author and reading group guide at end of book.

In sixteenth century Venice, the famed makers of Venetian glass faced death if they tried to leave the island ... but one man schemes to outwit the enforcers of the edict. In 1958 Venice Beach, California, and in today's Venetian casino in Las Vegas, other schemers launch similarly dangerous plans to get away with a secret. As the three stories weave together through time and space, the reader is drawn into a world of violence, and obsession.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

[DEBUT] 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 from a backer during a massive casino heist, but that's not the truth, at least not the whole truth. We also visit young Stanley in 1950s Venice Beach, CA, when he was obsessed with a bizarre poetic book called The Mirror Thief. Stanley tracks down the book's author, only to find that he is not what he seems. Finally, the reader journeys to 16th-century Venice, Italy, with a mysterious man named Crivano (the subject of Stanley's book) who struggles to hide his own secrets while striving to uncover the secrets of others. His is a world of glass and mirrors, of alchemy and war. Seay has written a twisty, winding tale that is not neatly wrapped up. Whether the three stories intersect, and how much they do, is left to the reader to decide. Verdict For David Mitchell devotees and patient readers who enjoy lush descriptions and books with multiple narratives, this may offer an intriguing read.-Katie Lawrence, Grand Rapids, MI © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Seay's debut novel is a true delight, a big, beautiful cabinet of wonders that is by turns an ominous modern thriller, a supernatural mystery, and an enchanting historical adventure story. The first stop is present-day Las Vegas, where an ex-Marine turned manhunter named Curtis Stone descends into the Strip's seedy underworld to track a famous gambler named Stanley Glass through the prefab canals of the Venetian-themed hotel and casino, but finds instead a mysterious book called The Mirror Thief. On that note, the narrative jumps back to 1958 in Venice Beach, at the dawn of the Beat poetry scene, where Stanley is a small-time con artist obsessed with the enigmatic Adrian Welles, author of The Mirror Thief. Finally, and most sensationally, readers are treated to the subject of Welles's book himself, the man called Crivano, who in 1592 embarks on a dangerous mission in the Italian Venice, gorgeously rendered as a fantasia of conspirators, alchemists, and heretics caught between the dangers of plague and the Inquisition. Without realizing it, Crivano, Stanley, and Curtis are searching for the same thing: the mystery hidden behind mirrors (both literal and figurative), through which, as Welles writes, "you meet the stranger you have always been." In sum, this is a splendid masterpiece, to be loved like a long-lost friend, an epic with near-universal appeal. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Seay's seductive debut novel is a grandly entrancing three-ring circus featuring a trio of risk-addicted main characters, three avidly depicted time frames, and an audacious mix of metaphysics and crime punctuated by tightly choreographed action scenes. Former marine Curtis, wounded in Bosnia, is now, at the start of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, reluctantly working as a hired gun in Las Vegas, attempting to track down the legendary and mysterious gambler Stanley Glass. Curtis' ever-more confounding and dangerous quest yields only Stanley's sacred text, a book of poems titled The Mirror Thief. The scene shifts to Venice Beach, California, in 1958, where young Stanley, a grifter and drifter, is searching for the poet who wrote this cryptic account of Crivano, a murderous sixteenth-century doctor on a clandestine mission in Venice, involving alchemy, the new art of mirror-making, the Ottoman court, and the Inquisition. Crivano prowls the city streets just like Curtis patrols Las Vegas' ersatz Venice as each is drawn further into a vortex of intrigue and violence. Mirrors, reflections, deceptions, reversals, and illusions multiply as Seay conjures each world with wizardly exactitude and a phenomenal gift for infusing a convoluted yet suspenseful tale with emotional authenticity, visceral immediacy, and philosophical concerns about perception and truth. Shimmering with intimations of Hermann Hesse, Umberto Eco, and David Mitchell, Sheay's house-of-mirrors novel is spectacularly accomplished and exciting.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2016 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

"What do you know about the sephiroth? Or gematria?" What, indeed? Cabala and codex, mystery and melodramait's all here in this debut novel. Since David Mitchell's Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas, every other commercially aspiring literary novel, it seems, jumps around over continents and centuries. This is no exception, with the perhaps unfortunate nexus of the Venices of California and Italy and the Venetian hotel of Las Vegas and a time span joining the Renaissance to the present by way of the Beat era. The cast of characters is suitably broad but with three principal figures. One is a salty, hard-boiled private investigator with a quick temper and a potty mouth ("fuck it, fuck Damon for putting some sketchy shitbag onto him without giving him a heads-up") who falls into the ambit of a sometime gambler, sometime philosopher ("At any given moment, you may be certain of the cards, but the other manyour opponent, your markyou can never be certain of what he perceives, what he thinks, what he will do") who just happens to know a little something about a book, called, of course, The Mirror Thief, one that is in demand for the odd power it enfolds. It also contains a Nicosian ne'er-do-well who, four centuries ago, sets off on a mission that will find him tap-dancing his way out of the clutches of spies and inquisitors. He's a likable rogue, and by far the most interesting fellow in the book. Seay's great challenge is to bind these talky stories together, which he does to varying degrees of success; often the story seems an exercise in stringing together index-card notes on various arcane subjects, and while the book is well-written and admirable in the ambition of its scope, it still feels undercooked. Entertaining enough, if less a hall of mirrors than a house of cards. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.