The Vanishers

The Vanishers

eBook - 2012 | 1st ed.
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A power struggle between a leading student at an elite institute for psychics and her jealous legendary mentor culminates in the student being forced to relive her mother's suicide during a brutal psychic attack.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307947598
0307947599
Characteristics: 1 online resource (284 p.)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive

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lukasevansherman
May 20, 2019

"In America today, people overestimate the value of expression."
Wow, I like that the previous reviewer couldn't even make it past the first page. That's commitment! By which I mean, commitment to being a really poor reader. I didn't really dig it either, but I read the whole thing. Heidi Julavits writes for the Believer, which should give you some idea of her style and aesthetic (very dry irony, for example). It's the kind of book you read and it sort of just evaporates into the ether. Fun lit fact: she's married to Ben Marcus, author of "The Flame Alphabet."

s
SusanJoslyn
Aug 22, 2012

did not like the first page so did not read

c
cmwallsm
May 19, 2012

Like other reviewers I find this novel difficult to describe, and/or complicated. Definitely intriguing and on the whole I enjoyed it, but there may of been a little something missing to bring it together as a cohesive and understandable whole. Though, I'm willing to admit I may have missed it.

j
jadavies
May 18, 2012

This was an interesting read with lots of thought provoking ideas. Unfortunately, it was too complicated to really understand exactly what was going on. So, in a nutshell, an intriguing but frustrating read!

Cdnbookworm Apr 20, 2012

This was a very odd novel. The main character Julia Severn is a student at a college for psychics. She has been chosen to be a stenographer for one of the professors Madame Ackermann, writing down her psychic experiences. But there develops antigonism between her and the professor when her powers seem to be growing stronger, while the professor's wane. Julia is also still struggling with her mother's suicide which occurred when she was an infant.
When Madame Ackermann seems to have launched a psychic attack on Julia, causing her to develop a variety of ailments, Julia takes a leave of absence and takes a NYC job modeling rugs. But others come to Julia, offering a cure in exchange for use of her talents. As Julia takes the cure, she also examines her psychic experiences, ponders her issues with her mother, and learns about her relationships with others from those women she meets in psychic experiences, to her father.
A detached sort of book, even though the reader sees things through Julia's eyes, I always felt a step removed from her as a character. As Julia struggles with her emotions around her mother and deals with her father's emotional barricades, she also feels both vulnerable and powerful. This is a very hard novel to describe.

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