Spoonbenders is about: a family of performing psychics, the Chicago mob, secret government agencies, show business, and enough familial dysfunction to give Oedipus a run for his money. At a little over 400 pages, Spoonbenders at times does not feel voluminous enough to contain its five narrators and multiple plot threads—you’re constantly on your guard, waiting for Daryl Gregory to trip up, radically short-change a major character or drop a plotline. And yes, maybe on further examination there are arguments to be made concerning the level of development characters receive or the amount of time given to certain plotlines, but watching the third act of Spoonbenders, the overwhelming feeling is one of, well, astonishment. Gregory’s denouement comes together with all the skill of a (yes, let me indulge myself here) high-wire act, FBI agents, mobsters, and grief issues all converging together in a way that is nothing
Is this all pretty gushy? Yeah, it is. But Spoonbenders was a good, fun book written with a great deal of skill, and while it didn’t quite the emotional devastation of the The Paper Menagerie, as someone who figures herself in the writing business as well, I can respect skill.