Fata Morgana

by William Kotzwinkle

Other authorsDirk Mülder (Translator)
Paperback, 1987



Call number

HU 9800 K87 F2



Reinbek bei Hamburg Rowohlt 1987


From the award-winning legend of speculative fiction, "a witty sendup of the detective story" with "a richness of invention that doffs a hat to Dickens" (Chicago Tribune). At a fashionable salon, Parisians line up to have their fortunes told by Ric Lazare's amazing machine. The predictions arrive with unerring accuracy, as if the invention were imbued with some sort of wondrous sorcery. The police, however, have a different opinion. They suspect that Lazare is a con man. Accordingly, they've sent one of their own to investigate. Unfortunately, the man they send is Paul Picard.   His methods are unconventional. His appetites--for lemon tarts, and for prostitutes--are legendary. And he is no stranger to the dark side of Paris. But Inspector Picard is entirely unprepared for the string of murders that pulls him across the continent. As the killer's seductive knot tightens around him, he learns once and for all that there's more to the glimmering world of high society than first appears.   Winner of the World Fantasy Award for his novel Doctor Rat, William Kotzwinkle reaffirms his reputation as one of the most captivating and original American authors of the last half-century with this "elegant entertainment" of magic and mystery in Paris (The Washington Post).   "Gaudy, decadent, smoothly polished, this beguiling novel is . . . a feat of stage magic, well rehearsed and well performed by a fine craftsman." --The New Yorker   "Alternately dark and glittering . . . a first-rate vaudeville turn." --Chicago Tribune   "Pure magic." --Playboy  … (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ashleytylerjohn
Didn't love this ... not the plot, not the characters, and it would be only two stars if it weren't for the actual writing which was occasionally lovely.

This book falls into a genre I think of as 1970s sensual foggy pseudo-fantasy ... it doesn't read as sharp and crisp (think Jane Austen) but more
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dreamlike and swoony (which in other hands can be terrific--I loved The Unconsoled, for instance).

But this story ... it may have seemed edgy when written (and I've been meaning to read it since then!) but now, just kind of draggy, not sexy, not interesting (when I picked up my Kobo I kept feeling disappointed that it was still this book), and the ending was infuriating.

(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = very good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm good at picking ones I'd like so I do end up with a lot of 4s!)
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

19 cm


3499149869 / 9783499149863
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