Review: The Man Who Was Magic by Paul Gallico

The Man Who Was Magic The Man Who Was Magic by Paul Gallico
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What would happen if one day a genuine magician with real magic came to a city of illusionists who live entirely in a world of artifice and sleight of hand?

This is one of the very few books that I have read more than once. It left a very deep impression on me the first time round, aged 13 or so, and not just because I got some sort of fictional-character-crush on the girl in the story. It was my first exposure to Paul Gallico’s profound gift for the allegorical and, with hindsight, I have to acknowledge that it must have shaped my impressionable mind in a very significant way.

The fact that first I read this book at a fairly young age demonstrates the universal appeal and accessibility of the writing, but having the opportunity to re-read it nearly 20 years later I found still more delight and depth in the telling of the tale although it was very much shorter than I remember it being. For a book that looms so large in my memory and imagination, I was surprised to re-read it in a single evening.

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4 Responses

  1. sounds like perfect ‘in transit’ reading, unless of course you are the one driving which is a no no.

    • It would make a good audiobook for driving too, though 🙂

      Unfortunately I think hard copies are difficult to come by, though; and, as far as I am aware it is not available in audio … yet.

  2. Just like you I love this book too, as well as the Mrs. Harris series.

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