Review – Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

The title of the novel, Spoonbenders, refers to two different, but related, things.  It directly refers to the family the book is about, the Telemachus family, but it indirectly refers to the art of mind over matter demonstrated by bending spoons.  This second, generally believed to be stage magic, describes the Telemachus family.  Teddy Telemachus, the father of the three main characters claimed that the entire family was psychically gifted; however, these gifts were brutally debunked on a television show when they were children.

The veracity, or fraudulence, of the gifts of the various members of the Telemachus family, and those of the next generation, are the core of the novel.  A novel which deftly moves between laugh-out-loud funny and all-too-real sad, with characters who range between youngsters losing their innocence, adults maybe getting to gain theirs back, and a paterfamilias who isn’t quite as much a flim-flam man as he appears to be.

The climax is a set-piece of prophecy, surprise, and explosions that is lovely and satisfying.  I highly recommend it.


Gregory, Daryl.  Spoonbenders.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.  Kindle edition.  Amazon.


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