Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Monday 4 September.
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Meet Matthias Telemachus, Teddy Telemachus, Maureen Telemachus, Irene Telemachus, Frankie Telemachus and Buddy Telemachus!
They were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who in the mid-1970s achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. That is, until the magic decided to disappear one night, live on national television.
We encounter this long-forgotten family two decades on, when grandson Matty, born long after the public fall from grace, discovers powers in himself and realises his hugely deflated, heavily indebted family truly are amazing.
Selection panel review
The book was selected with the help of a panel of librarians from across the UK.
The panel loved Spoonbenders – here are some of their comments:
“I absolutely loved this book! From the moment I picked it up I was hooked. The story tells us about the lives of the Amazing Telemachus family, a performing family famous for their psychic powers who have given up show business and are now attempting to lead ‘normal’ lives, despite the threat of mobsters, government agents and the problem of concealing their abilities. We get to know each family member through character-led chapters, and there is a favourite character here for everyone; roguish charmer Teddy; damaged, secretive Buddy; Irene, who can sense when someone is lying; her son Matty, discovering his powers for the first time; and Frankie, desperate for a way out of his debts at any cost. I found this book gripping, funny, heart-breaking and, most surprisingly of all for a book about clairvoyance and telekinetic superpowers, believable! To top it all off a series of twists comes thick and fast at the end, building to a very satisfying conclusion. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.”
“Meet the Telemachus family…a dysfunctional brood of disgraced psychics, conmen, psychokinetics and oddballs. Each character is so fully formed and quirky that I felt as though they were all cast members in a long running American family based comedy-drama that I’ve been addicted to since season one, episode one. Wonderful stuff.”
“I thought this was brilliant – clever, funny and very original.”
About the author
Daryl Gregory grew up in Chicago and has lived in various other cities within a few miles of the continent-spanning highway, Interstate 80, including his current home, Oakland, California. He’s been a high school teacher, a technical writer, and a programmer, and now writes full time, occasionally dabbling in comics and videogame scripts.
His short novel We Are All Completely Fine won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson award, and was a finalist for the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus awards. The novel Afterparty was a National Public Radio and Kirkus Best Fiction book of the year. Spoonbenders is his first work of literary fiction.
A word from Daryl
“I’m honored and grateful that Spoonbenders was chosen for Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 Book Club. Imagine, a national radio program promoting reading and books! Here in the states the closest thing we have to that is Oprah, and she’s semi-retired from the book recommendation trade.
My thanks as well to The Reading Agency and the librarians who put the right books into the right hands. Librarians were my early heroes, because they watched out for kids like me: the weird ones, riding their bikes solo to the library, wandering the stacks in search of wonder. Spoonbenders is about a family looking for a little magic, and I was lucky enough to find it in books. If someone finds a little in mine, I’ll be thrilled."
Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Monday 4 September to hear a live interview with Daryl.