I enjoyed this so much. It worked on every level, and as different as the three Venices were, Seay wove the stories together seamlessly into an engaging, thought-provoking whole. Recommended By Kathi K., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A Publishers Weekly BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
An NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
An INDIE NEXT LIST PICK
An INDIES INTRODUCE DEBUT VOICES PICK
A globetrotting, time-bending, wildly entertaining literary tour de force in the tradition of Cloud Atlas.
The Mirror Thief is a dazzling combination of a genre-hopping adventure, a fast-paced mystery, and literary verve. Set in three cities in three eras, The Mirror Thief calls to mind David Mitchell and Umberto Eco in its serendipitous mix of entertainment and literary mastery.
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 iterations of Venice — Venice Beach, California, circa 1958, and the Venice casino in Las Vegas, circa 2003 — 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 literary art.
"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…A splendid masterpiece, to be loved like a long-lost friend, an epic with near-universal appeal." Publishers Weekly (Starred and Boxed)
"A bold American debut … hypnotic … Frequently reminiscent of the ominous historical bulletins of Don DeLillo … with a plusher, plumper register, more redolent of Umberto Eco …Seay is clearly a writer of exceptional and eclectic intelligence.… The Mirror Thief is always highly admirable." The Guardian
"A wondrous debut, a deliciously intricate, centuries-spanning tripartite tale of money and mysticism…Mr. Seay has conjured his own kind of sorcery, a sophisticated thriller that keeps the pages turning even as it teases the mind." Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"Audaciously well written…the book I was raving about to my friends before I’d even finished it." The New York Times Book Review
"A remarkable novel — magical, sweeping, epic, and monstrous. The Mirror Thief is a tour de force of writing that defies all labels and genres: three interwoven stories that will draw you into worlds of mystery, crime, violence, and obsession. A work to be savored if you have the discipline, but more likely devoured if, like me, you simply can’t put it down, The Mirror Thief is an astonishing debut novel of immense literary depth." Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling co-author of The Monster of Florence and The Cabinet of Curiosities
About the Author
Martin Seay is the executive secretary of the Village of Wheeling, Illinois. This is his first novel.