Synopses & Reviews
Three smart young women—the scholarly Ruth, her poet roommate Lucy, and their exotic, provocative neighbor Anna—are obsessed with games of all kinds. Theyve devoted themselves to both the academic study of play and the design of games based on the secret history of the neighborhood around Columbia University, from Grants Tomb to the former insane asylum that once stood where the campus is now. When Annas mysterious brother Anders gets involved and introduces live-action role-playing based on classic Greek tragedy, theory goes into practice and the stakes are raised. Told in a variety of formats—including Gchat and blog posts—that bring the fraught drama of Euripides screaming into the 21st century, The Magic Circle is an intellectual thriller like no other.
“The Magic Circle
is elegant, brutally smart, and utterly absorbing—The Secret History
as directed by Whit Stillman...A delirious, hypnotic page-turner about the ruthless games female friends play with, and on, each other.” —Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me
“For many years, those in search of an erudite, smart, sassy, vibrantly intelligent mystery blog went to Jenny Davidson, and she wrote too of deeply intellectual matters on an easy in yer face tone. She rocked. And now…The novel. Bliss. Imagine Iris Murdoch, channeling Janet Evanovich and cribbing the sheer art of P.D. Jamess gripping storytelling, and you'd have the tone and flavour of Davidson's novel. It's that book, and oh so beautifully readable. —Ken Bruen, author of The Hackman Blues and The Guards
“Edgy and erudite, sexy and engrossing: This is one seriously fun book.” —Emily Barton, author of Brookland
“Like a novel by a 21st-century Muriel Spark, this book about smart women, dangerous games, and the roles we play in life enthralled me. I loved it.” —Sara Gran, author of Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead and Dope
Three young women are obsessed with games of all kinds, devoting themselves to both the academic study of play and the design of games based on the secret history of the neighborhood around Columbia University. When live-action role-playing based on classic Greek tragedy is introduced, the games get dangerous.
Three young female academics design daring, boundary-pushing games—until one of them goes too far, in this contemporary thriller by an acclaimed Columbia University professor. Three young women—scholarly Ruth, poet Lucy, and the provocative visiting Swedish scholar Anna—are obsessed with games of all kinds, devoting themselves to the academic study of play as well as designing games inspired by the secret history of the neighborhood around Columbia University, from Grants Tomb to the former insane asylum.
When Annas mysterious brother Anders gets involved, introducing live-action role-playing (LARP) based on classic Greek tragedy, the games become even more exciting—and deadly.