Grift – n. A group of methods used for obtaining money falsely through the use of swindles, frauds, etc.
Gift – n. A special ability or capacity*
I love the premise of The Grift by Debra Ginsberg: Marina, a woman who has been working as a psychic for years (and a good one at that), suddenly becomes psychic for real, to the dismay of her clients. Ginsberg convincingly portrays Marina’s transformation from fake psychic to real one; in my opinion, this is the most interesting part of the book. Unfortunately, the secondary characters are too two-dimensional for my taste. For one thing, I had trouble believing so many of Marina’s clients would be nearly murderous with rage; it felt like a device used to confuse the reader rather than an organic part of the plot. I disliked the shifting points of view for the same reason—none of the other characters were developed enough to justify focusing on each of them in turn. Finally, the final confrontation was too outrageous to be believable. Ironically, it isn’t Marina’s newfound psychic ability that stretched my disbelief, but rather the rest of the story. In the end, I liked the idea of this book much better than its execution.
Other reviews by bloggers who enjoyed the book more than I did:
A Bookworm’s World • A Lovely Shore Breeze • BookBound • Books and Movies • Muse Books Reviews • Pop Culture Junkie • Presenting Lenore • Reader for Life
The Grift was also reviewed in The New York Times. (It was also a New York Times Notable Book for 2008.)
You can also read the first chapter of the book at The New York Times site.
Thank you to Random House for sending me this book to read and review.
*The definitions are from the beginning of the book.