Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Spiritualism! Victorian Pornography!

All Will Be Revealed by Robert Anthony Siegel

Now that I have your attention.

Augustus Auerbach is a wheelchair-bound multimillionaire, obsessed with creating a legacy in pornographic pictures. Verena Swann is the widow of a famed Arctic explorer, who becomes a hot property with the New York spiritualist set after realizing she can communicate with her dead husband. When the two cross paths, they embark on an unlikely friendship and unlikelier romance.

Of course, there are problems. Besides being a pornographer, Auerbach is a recluse and control freak. And while Swann is a talented medium who seems to fall into genuine trances when speaking to her husband, she is a fraud. Additionally, her brother-in-law, grown fat on the fruits of her labor, is unwilling to let her out of the game, however distasteful.

Siegel does a good job rendering Auerbach, Swann, and her spiritualist biddies (she refers to them as "the weepers). Still, the book was a little thinner than I would have liked. There's one bit of particularly tense conflict that I was very excited about; however, Siegel underestimates what he's got going and resolves everything too quickly, and perhaps a little too happily.

Not to give anything away, but Siegel also passes up a crackerjack opportunity to have a villain mauled by a bear. How do you let something like that that get away?

If you liked...: Angelica by Arthur Phillips or Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, this book is for you.

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