A NEBULA AWARD FINALIST
ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
"Hilarious, heartfelt and brimming with humanity.” —Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest
Teddy Telemachus is a charming con man with a gift for sleight of hand and some shady underground associates. In need of cash, he tricks his way into a classified government study about telekinesis and its possible role in intelligence gathering. There he meets Maureen McKinnon, and it’s not just her piercing blue eyes that leave Teddy forever charmed, but her mind—Maureen is a genuine psychic of immense and mysterious power. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, have three gifted children, and become the Amazing Telemachus Family, performing astounding feats across the country. Irene is a human lie detector. Frankie can move objects with his mind. And Buddy, the youngest, can see the future. Then one night tragedy leaves the family shattered.
Decades later, the Telemachuses are not so amazing. Irene is a single mom whose ear for truth makes it hard to hold down a job, much less hold together a relationship. Frankie’s in serious debt to his dad’s old mob associates. Buddy has completely withdrawn into himself and inexplicably begun digging a hole in the backyard. To make matters worse, the CIA has come knocking, looking to see if there’s any magic left in the Telemachus clan. And there is: Irene’s son Matty has just had his first out-of-body experience. But he hasn’t told anyone, even though his newfound talent might just be what his family needs to save themselves—if it doesn’t tear them apart in the process.
Harnessing the imaginative powers that have made him a master storyteller, Daryl Gregory delivers a stunning, laugh-out-loud new novel about a family of gifted dreamers and the invisible forces that bind us all.
A family plagued with malfunctioning superpowers, persistent federal agents, and the mafia should make for a fast-paced and enthralling story, but a stalled plot grounds the latest from the author of Pandemonium. Expert con man Teddy Telemachus believes only in a good hustle until he meets Maureen McKinnon. Believing her act's a scam, he soon realizes that she's what he always pretended to be: a true psychic. Teddy and Maureen fall in love, get married, and have three supernaturally gifted children: Irene the "lie detector," Frankie the psychokinetic, and Buddy the clairvoyant. After Maureen dies of cancer, any potential for a functional family unit falls apart. In 1995, 21 years after Maureen's death, the family is in shambles: Irene, unemployed and broke, is forced to move back in with her father in Chicago; Frankie has big dreams but also a big debt to the local mob; and Buddy seemingly bumbles around with no attachment to reality. But when Matty, Irene's 14-year-old son, realizes he can astral project, it begins a series of events that lead to September 4th, the last day Buddy can see in the future. Gregory seamlessly switches between different points of view, creating vivid voices for each Telemachus family member. But the intermittent bursts of incomplete information seem aimed at creating a surprise reveal, and result in a less-than-concrete understanding of the Telemachuses' dynamics. 75,000-copy announced first printing.