Spoonbenders: A Novel - A Hilarious and Heartwarming Story of a Psychic Family
Spoonbenders: A novel by Daryl Gregory
If you are looking for a book that is funny, quirky, magical, and heartwarming, you might want to check out Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. This novel, published in 2017 by Knopf, follows the rise and fall of the Telemachus family, a clan of psychics who have to deal with their own problems as well as threats from the CIA, the mafia, and a skeptic who wants to expose them. In this article, we will give you an overview of the book, its reception, its adaptation, and our recommendation.
Spoonbenders: A novel download
The Telemachus family and their psychic powers
The main characters of Spoonbenders are members of the Telemachus family, each with a unique psychic ability. They are:
Teddy Telemachus, the patriarch. He is a con man who pretends to have psychic powers, but he has a knack for reading people and situations.
Maureen Telemachus, his wife. She is a powerful psychic who can astral project, communicate with spirits, influence minds, and perform other feats.
Irene Telemachus, their daughter. She is a human lie detector who can tell when someone is lying or hiding something.
Frankie Telemachus, their son. He is a telekinetic who can move objects with his mind.
Buddy Telemachus, their youngest son. He is a clairvoyant who can see the future.
Matty Telemachus, Irene's son. He is an astral traveler who can leave his body when he is aroused.
The Telemachus family used to perform as a group on talk shows and late-night television in the 1960s, showcasing their amazing abilities. However, their fame was short-lived when they were debunked by a skeptic on live TV. Since then, they have lived in obscurity and shame in Chicago, trying to cope with their personal and financial troubles.
The plot of Spoonbenders
The story of Spoonbenders alternates between the 1960s and the 1990s, revealing how the Telemachus family met, rose, and fell, as well as how they are trying to survive and reunite in the present. The book is divided into four parts, each focusing on a different character and their point of view.
The 1960s and the 1990s
In the 1960s, we learn how Teddy and Maureen met at a classified ESP study conducted by the CIA. They fell in love and got married, and soon discovered that their children inherited their psychic gifts. They decided to use their talents to entertain and make money, becoming known as The Amazing Telemachus Family. However, their success attracted the attention of the CIA, the mafia, and a skeptic named James Randi, who wanted to expose them as frauds.
In the 1990s, we see how the Telemachus family is struggling with their lives after the death of Maureen and the humiliation of their TV appearance. Irene is a single mother who works as a cashier and can't find a decent man. Frankie is a gambler who owes money to the mob and has a scheme to use his telekinesis to win the lottery. Buddy is a recluse who barely speaks and digs holes in the backyard. Matty is a teenager who discovers his astral traveling ability and falls in love with his cousin Malice. Teddy is the only one who tries to keep the family together and protect them from their enemies.
The CIA, the mafia, and the skeptic
The Telemachus family faces three main threats in Spoonbenders: the CIA, the mafia, and the skeptic. The CIA is interested in Maureen's psychic abilities and wants to use her for their covert operations. They also want to recruit Buddy, who can see the future and prevent disasters. The mafia is after Frankie, who owes them money and tries to cheat them with his telekinesis. They also want to kidnap Matty, who can astral travel and spy on their activities. The skeptic is James Randi, a magician who exposes fake psychics on TV. He wants to prove that the Telemachus family is a hoax and ruin their reputation.
The humor and the heart of Spoonbenders
Despite the dangers and difficulties that the Telemachus family faces, Spoonbenders is not a dark or depressing book. On the contrary, it is full of humor, warmth, and charm. The author, Daryl Gregory, writes with a witty and playful style that makes the reader laugh and smile. He also creates lovable and relatable characters that make the reader care about them. He shows how the Telemachus family loves each other despite their flaws and quirks. He also explores themes such as family, identity, destiny, free will, and belonging.
The reception and reviews of Spoonbenders
Spoonbenders was well received by critics and readers alike. It was praised for its originality, creativity, humor, emotion, and storytelling. It was also nominated for several awards and recognized by various publications as one of the best books of 2017.
The ratings and reviews from Goodreads
On Goodreads, Spoonbenders has an average rating of 3.91 out of 5 stars based on 14,634 ratings and 2,046 reviews. Here are some of the comments from readers:
"This book was so much fun! I loved every single character in this book - they were all so unique and quirky. The story was fast-paced and engaging - I couldn't put it down. The writing was witty and clever - I laughed out loud several times. The book also had a lot of heart - I felt for these characters and their struggles. This was one of my favorite reads this year!" - Sarah
"This book was a delightful surprise! I expected a light-hearted comedy about a family of psychics, but I got so much more. This book was full of twists and turns, secrets and revelations, humor and drama. The characters were complex and realistic - they had flaws but they also had strengths. The story was captivating - it kept me guessing until the end. The writing was superb - it was smooth and elegant but also funny and sharp. This book was a gem!" - David
The nominations and awards for Spoonbenders
Spoonbenders was nominated for several prestigious awards in the field of fantasy and science fiction. These include:
The 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novel 
The 2018 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel 
The 2018 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel 
The 2018 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel 
The 2018 Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature 
Although Spoonbenders did not win any of these awards, it was recognized as one of the best books of 2017 by various publications and organizations. These include:
NPR Books 
Publishers Weekly 
Kirkus Reviews 
Library Journal 
The Washington Post 
The Chicago Review of Books 
The adaptation and sequel of Spoonbenders
If you enjoyed reading Spoonbenders, you might be interested to know that it is being adapted into a TV series and that a sequel is in the works. Here are some details about these projects.
The TV series by Paramount Television Studios
In 2017, it was announced that Paramount Television Studios had acquired the rights to adapt Spoonbenders into a TV series. The show will be produced by Greg Berlanti, who is known for his work on shows such as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale, and You. The script will be written by Daryl Gregory himself, who will also serve as an executive producer.  
As of 2021, there is no official release date or cast for the TV series. However, Gregory has shared some updates on his website and social media accounts. He has revealed that he has written the pilot episode and that he is working on the second episode. He has also hinted that the TV series will have some changes and additions from the book, such as new characters and subplots. He has expressed his excitement and optimism about the project and has asked fans to be patient and supportive.   
The sequel by Daryl Gregory
In 2020, Gregory announced that he was working on a sequel to Spoonbenders. He revealed that the sequel will be set in 2002, ten years after the events of the first book. He also said that the sequel will focus on Matty and Malice, who are now adults and have their own psychic adventures. He did not give a title or a release date for the sequel, but he said that he hopes to finish it soon.  
The conclusion and recommendation of Spoonbenders
Now that we have given you an overview of Spoonbenders, its reception, its adaptation, and its sequel, we would like to conclude with our recommendation. We think that Spoonbenders is a great book for anyone who likes fantasy, comedy, family drama, and psychic phenomena. It is a book that will make you laugh, cry, think, and wonder. It is a book that will entertain you and touch you.
The pros and cons of Spoonbenders
Here are some of the pros and cons of Spoonbenders:
Original and creative premiseSome sleazy and uncomfortable scenes
Lovable and relatable charactersSome confusing and unresolved plot points
Witty and playful writing styleSome clichéd and predictable twists
Humor and heart in equal measureSome slow and dragging parts
Themes and messages that resonateSome unrealistic and exaggerated events
The target audience and genre of Spoonbenders
We think that Spoonbenders is a book that can appeal to a wide range of readers, but especially to those who enjoy the following genres:
Fantasy: The book is full of magic, mystery, and wonder. It explores the possibilities and limitations of psychic powers and their effects on the world.
Comedy: The book is full of humor, sarcasm, and irony. It makes fun of the absurdities and contradictions of life and human nature.
Family drama: The book is full of relationships, conflicts, and emotions. It shows how a family can be both a blessing and a burden, and how they can overcome their differences and support each other.
Psychic phenomena: The book is full of phenomena such as telepathy, telekinesis, clairvoyance, astral projection, and more. It shows how these phenomena can be used for good or evil, and how they can affect the perception of reality.
The final rating and review of Spoonbenders
Based on our analysis, we give Spoonbenders a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. We think that it is a very enjoyable and engaging book that will keep you hooked from start to finish. We think that it is a book that will make you laugh and cry, think and wonder, entertain and touch you. We think that it is a book that you will not regret reading.
Here is our final review of Spoonbenders:
Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory is a novel about a family of psychics who have to deal with their own problems as well as threats from the CIA, the mafia, and a skeptic. It is a novel that is funny, quirky, magical, and heartwarming. It is a novel that follows the rise and fall of the Telemachus family, a clan of psychics who have to use their powers to save themselves and each other. It is a novel that alternates between the 1960s and the 1990s, revealing how the Telemachus family met, rose, and fell, as well as how they are trying to survive and reunite in the present. It is a novel that balances delightful wackiness with genuine tenderness throughout in a way reminiscent of Michael Chabon or Jonathan Lethem. It is a novel that was well received by critics and readers alike, nominated for several awards, and recognized by various publications as one of the best books of 2017. It is a novel that is being adapted into a TV series by Paramount Television Studios and that has a sequel in the works. It is a novel that we highly recommend to anyone who likes fantasy, comedy, family drama, and psychic phenomena.