The Disappearance Boy

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Reggie Rainbow, orphan and former polio-stricken resident of The Home for Poor Brave Things, is twenty-three years old, utterly alone and crippled. His irregular, poorly paid gigs as the disappearance boy of the illusionist Mr. Brookes are his sole outlet for human interaction. Things change when the beautiful, gutsy, and bluntly comedic Pamela Rose becomes Mr. Brookes’ new assistant. On evening walks from the b-list theater where their show is booked, Pamela and Reggie become confidants. When Mr. Brookes takes his rehearsed act too far, Pamela and Reggie band together, and remake their respective futures in one bold, rebellious act.

Bartlett’s stage experience is evident in his thorough description of behind-the-scenes preparation, camaraderie, and betrayal. Likewise, he challenges readers to determine how the illusions are performed by describing how each illusion appeared on stage before explaining each step. However, Bartlett’s writing style is choppy with its reliance on compound modifiers and dashes that disrupt the sentence flow, and distract from the general story. As for the plot, Pamela’s and Reggie’s backstories are anything but uplifting, and empathetic readers may want to steer clear of this dark tale which does not fully achieve a happy ending.


Reviewed By:

Author Neil Bartlett
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date 2014-Oct-28
ISBN 9781620407257
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2014
Category Modern Literature
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