A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining masterpiece hailed by the New York Times Book Review as "Audaciously well written...the book I was raving about to my friends before I'd even finished it."
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
NEW RULE - no one compare anything to The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.
I picked this book up because the NYT reviewer broke this rule. The legacy of this infraction was me trying to read a complicated book wondering all the while, "HOW IS THIS LIKE CLOUD ATLAS"?
On its own this book is rich, beautiful, contemporary and ambitiously detailed. I hated putting it down and eagerly re-entered its trance whenever possible. And while driving. Just kidding, I do not read and drive anymore.
The ending is a bit anticlimactic, or possibly I missed it. I found myself thinking about the themes for weeks.
BUT, LIKE EVERY BOOK EXCEPT CLOUD ATLAS, IT IS NO CLOUD ATLAS.
I wanted to like this book which has some redeeming qualities but try as I might I could not connect the dots and understand what the story was about. Crivano,Stanley and Curtis are jnteresting characters but I cannot understand the mirror connection. My advice would be to skip this story!
I saw this book on a buzzfeed list of suspenseful books. Man was that wrong. There is no real climax in this slow moving plot to me. Not bad, but not for me, or anyone else who likes the plot to actually move at a decent pace.
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