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Henry Walker disappears from a circus after he performs his magic show one night. One man puts together narratives from varous people who knew Henry, to find out what ahppened to him.

My synopsis of this book is so brief, because I don't believe in giving away ANYTHING about the plot. Daniel Wallace, the author, is big into blurring the distinction between the believable and fantasy. "Mr. Sebastian" shares this theme with Wallace's best-know novel, "Big Fish"; except that he has a different purpose with each. As we talked about "Mr. Sebastian", I came to realize just hw well Wallace crafted the book. We all enjoyed it, to the surprise of some of us.

 
I enthusiastically recommend this book. Wharton's skill in revealing the rigid, fragile society of "Old New York", and her complex, subtly drawn characters made this a favorite with us.

Complex, subtle, wonderfully ironic humor, poignant ending. This is what good fiction is all about.

 
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Fascinating history of how the Dust Bowl disaster in the 1930's personally affected the lives of a dozen people.

This book was well researched and written. Egan is able to turn scattered bits of information into heart-rending stories of the unimaginable hardships these people endured. All of us, even those who don't like nonfiction, were glad they read it and have recommended it to friends.

 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Nice story, well told, not a lot to discuss.

Most of the people in our club are looking for more than just a good, heartwarming story for a club book. We want some conflict; ambiguity in character, actions, or motives; or some questions that are left unanswered. As nice a story as Water for Elephants is, the only question any of us raised was (Spolier Alert!) why didn't Rosie tear the stake out of the ground and brain August earlier?

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
 
Beautiful, Insightful, Interesting
Story based on Truman Capote's memories of his early Christmases.

This somewhat fictionalized memoir of one Christmas is one of Capote's best-known stories. It takes place during his early childhood, when he lived with aging cousins. One cousin became his best friend and constant companion. "A Christmas Memory" tells of the fun they had making fruitcakes and Christmas presents. It also tells of their loneliness and estrangement from the rest of the household. The edition we read includes two other short stories by Capote: "One Christmas" and "A Thanksgiving Visitor." We agreed that reading all three stories completes the picture of Capote's childhood that "A Christmas Memory" begins.

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