Title: Jar of Fools.
Author: Ira Levin.
Genre: Fiction, graphic novel, addiction, suicide, death, romance.
Publication Date: 1993-1996 (this book in 2003).
Summary: Ernie is an alcoholic stage magician haunted by lost love and his brother's suicide, and he's hooked up with his senile mentor in one last effort to sort his life out. But Ernie needs to keep Flosso the Magnificent with him in the present and by his side to guide Ernie through these difficult days. These two magicians have run out of escape tricks, but they can't stop running. Esther is still numb with grief for Ernie's brother. She works at a coffee shop and has allowed her heart to simply atrophy while a torrent of rage builds slowly inside her. Nathan Lender is a small time grifter living on his wits and in a car with his twelve-year-old daughter, Claire. He's running out of time to fix the past and make things right for his daughter. One morning Nathan Lender makes the mistake of trying to con Esther at the coffee counter. Circumstance will bring a desperate group of people together, all at the end of their rope. An unlikely kind of love grows from these broken people who discover the act of self-sacrifice can perform miracles.
My rating: 7.5/10.
♥ "So, if he meant to drown, why in front of a crowd?"
"Most people think of karma as this sort of running score, right? Good actions are additive, bad actions are subtractive, and your subtotal at one life's end determines whether you'll be reincarnated on a higher or lower rung in the next. The object being to get to the top of the ladder. But as I understand it, any action, good or bad, is like a ripple you make in the world, and the real goal is not to make any ripples. To begin and end with subtotal or zero. So he arranges a public stunt, jumps into the river, and drowns. It's an accident: people can be horrified by the cruelty of fate or whatever, but no one will try to figure out "why he did it.""
"No ripples. ... I don't know if I like that. I don't know if I don't want to make any ripples."
"Me neither... but somehow I wish I could feel that way. Like the fact that I didn't matter was okay."
♥ "If you just take someone's wallet, it's an obvious theft. If you just do the trick it's an obvious trick. You need to make a show of it, make your audience think something else is happening."
"But Dad fools 'em! I mean, you're wearing a tuxedo! People are going to expect tricks out of you!"
"That's true, that's an important part of it. They know, and they give in. It's a little surrender. A moment of belief."
"I don't know, anything. Anything other than what they know, or what they think they know. That's the magic. Not the trick itself, but what it makes possible in people."