I barely remember this novel that I think I started to read as a child and would like to maybe pick up again.
What I remember is this:
- A young man (or boy?) meets a man (possibly a relative or neighbor?) who tries to teach him psychic powers or magic.
- The teaching centers primarily around the use of small physical "talismans"
There was a scene I remember which involved the protagonist taking a long bath and meditating upon a talisman in the bath. He described what I remember as cones coming out of the walls and the ceiling.
- I believe that the principal characters were white - this may be because I am, and simply be incorrect.
- I believe that the protagonist was perhaps twelve years old or so.
- My recollection is that the talismans themselves were solid brass, and perhaps the size and shape of a dreidel without the handle.
- I believe that the talismans were kept together in a wooden case lined with velvet.
- I read the novel (or started to) in 1985. At the time, it was in paperback.
The scene I describe above stuck with me because it made me so very uncomfortable. I do not know whether this was the author's intent, but as a young boy at the time I felt very, very uncomfortable with the idea that someone like me might be invited to get naked at some other adult's house in order to take a bath and practice meditation.
I do not remember anything about any of the conflicts in the story - literally all I can remember about the story is how uncomfortable it made me feel because of that one scene. I think that scene might be why I never finished it.