magic by mike russell

Magic – Book Review

Thank you to author Mike Russell for providing me with a copy of his novel Magic in exchange for this honest review.

At this point in my journey of reviewing unknow, self published, and indie books I have read a good handful of absurdist comedies that I would not have come across otherwise. I enjoy these books. They’re silly, fun, and usually have a little something to say behind the humor.

Magic is one of these silly little novels that sets out to determine if magic really does exist. Charlie Watson was raised by a magician after his abusive parents died. This man told him that in the beginning of the universe one magician created many little magicians who came to Earth to help out. Once people stopped believing in them they went from the invisible hands that guide to visible stage performers.

Charlie is writing this book after the magician dies and leaves him all alone. He seems to be developmentally stunted in one way or another and is quite simple in his thought processes. Unfortunately, due to this character trait the book is a bit rambling and can become tedious to read.

It’s written through his perspective so the meandering stream of consciousness and childlike imaginative tangents make sense for the narrative. I just didn’t love reading it. This style compliments the substance but I wouldn’t call it enjoyable, for me personally at least. I found myself skimming over his inner monologue as it felt quite repetitive.

Essentially, the book is about Charlie trying to discover the source of magic. He takes a job at a wand factory looking for the rare one that actually works. He has an affair with a magician’s assistant. He tries to unlock the secrets of the universe without knowing that’s actually what he’s doing.

Hecklers are miserable people but what they really need to do is just keep watching the magic show.

Mike Russell-Magic

Charlie’s search for magic in the world is contagious. I love magic shows, like so damn much I love them. I get giddy like a little kid at seeing the performers and ecstatic as an adult who appreciates the engineering behind the tricks. I got pulled up on stage once at a show and it was one of the best days of my life. Not to brag but I got a good laugh at a joke I made and I’ll treasure that memory forever.

So I did enjoy seeing Charlie go from magic is real, to everything is a lie, back to being a believer, and all the emotions in between. Overall, the book is cute and optimistic and encourages positive thinking. We could all use a lot more of that in our lives.

If you like silly, absurdist humor and have a soft spot for whimsy then I recommend Magic to you. The book and the shows. You’re never too old to set aside your skepticism and feel some wonder.

3/5 top hats 🎩🎩🎩

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