is so much more than a hilarious story about a family with psychic powers;
it’s a tribute to the power families have to create chaos in our lives, and, with a little luck, also to save our hides. Each Telemachus family member has a
special ability, from lie-detecting to telekinesis to astral projection. But these abilities are more of a burden than a gift, attracting mobsters, government
agents, and other psychics into the fray as the Telemachus clan maneuvers its way into, and
out of, a mess of trouble. I loved how the plot builds and builds into a
torrential sequence of events, collapsing in on the characters at the end like a giant
wave of destiny. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"Hilarious, heartfelt and brimming with humanity." — Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest
Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it’s not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed, but her mind — Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.
Decades later, the Telemachuses are not so amazing. Irene is a single mom whose ear for truth makes it hard to hold down a job, much less hold together a relationship. Frankie’s in serious debt to his dad’s old mob associates. Buddy has completely withdrawn into himself and inexplicably begun digging a hole in the backyard. To make matters worse, the CIA has come knocking, looking to see if there’s any magic left in the Telemachus clan. And there is: Irene’s son Matty has just had his first out-of-body experience. But he hasn’t told anyone, even though his newfound talent might just be what his family needs to save themselves — if it doesn’t tear them apart in the process.
Harnessing the imaginative powers that have made him a master storyteller, Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning, laugh-out-loud new novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.
"This gloriously imaginative novel featuring a family of somewhat reluctant psychics has a nifty trick up its sleeve — as whimsical and eccentric as the Telemachus family is, their hopes and desires perfectly mirror our own. Spoonbenders is hilarious, heartfelt and brimming with humanity." Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest
"Imagine amazing powers—but do so with uncommon creativity, rigor, and humor. You might, if you’re lucky, arrive at the delicious drama of the girl who can smell lies; the all-at-once-ness of the boy who can’t not see the future; the great dilemma of the psychic pressed into service as a spy. Daryl Gregory’s novel traces the line where gift balances against curse and by the end, we realize he isn’t only talking about amazing powers after all. Spoonbenders is X-Files meets The Sopranos with a real, roaring heart." Robin Sloan, New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
"Masterful.... gracefully balances the outrageous melodrama of Chicago mobsters and shadowy government agencies with the ordinary mysteries of family dynamics.... Readers will emerge from the fray sure they know each Telemachus down to the smudges on their hearts. A skillfully written family drama that employs quirk and magic with grace." Kirkus (Starred Review)
A generations-spanning family of psychics--both blessed and burdened by their abilities--must use their powers to save themselves from the CIA, the local mafia, and a skeptic hell-bent on discrediting them in this hilarious, tender, magical novel about the invisible forces that bind us.
The Telemachus family is known for performing inexplicable feats on talk shows and late-night television. Teddy, a master conman, heads up a clan who possess gifts he only fakes: there's Maureen, who can astral project; Irene, the human lie detector; Frankie, gifted with telekinesis; and Buddy, the clairvoyant. But when, one night, the magic fails to materialize, the family withdraws to Chicago where they live in shame for years. Until: As they find themselves facing a troika of threats (CIA, mafia, unrelenting skeptic), Matty, grandson of the family patriarch, discovers a bit of the old Telemachus magic in himself. Now, they must put past obstacles behind them and unite like never before. But will it be enough to bring The Amazing Telemachus Family back to its amazing life?
About the Author
Daryl Gregory is the author of Afterparty, The Devil’s Alphabet, and other novels for adults and young readers. His novella We Are All Completely Fine won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in Oakland, California.
Daryl Gregory on PowellsBooks.Blog
As a kid I spent what I believed to be an appropriate number of hours a week wondering which superpowers I’d develop once my mutant gene kicked in. As a fan of Nightcrawler — he’s one of the blue X-Men — I was pretty sure teleportation was in the picture, but I was open to telekinesis, Wolverine’s healing factor, and maybe some light astral travel...