The Circle is a novel set in Edwardian England, following the disintegration of the friendship between four stage magicians … one of whom has just summoned the Devil.
That’s the elevator pitch, more or less, and that’s all you need to know for now, but since I’m feeling nice you can also have the profiles of five of the major players:
A proto-modernist writer, bespectacled and a little soft in the middle, whose short stories and one novel have been far better received in the United States than in his native England. He is of a wealthy enough family with a good pedigree, and like man men in his position is fascinated by poverty and the working classes in the same way that scientists are interested in insects. He enjoys talking to “the poor” mainly so that he can score points in conversation with his fashionable friends.
Homosexual and largely unperturbed about his orientation, having fallen into a significant number of his fellows at university; unusually for a man of his era he believes in the validity of relations between men of the same class, even if he is occasionally a bit squeamish in the practice.
Henry is moderately good-looking and an entirely pleasant dinner guest, if prone to occasional stints of verbal flatulence on the topic of his latest writerly project.
The profiles are taken directly from my notes, so somewhat sparse. More shall, I hope, be revealed later.