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The Man Who Was Magic; A Fable of Innocence…

The Man Who Was Magic; A Fable of Innocence (original 1966; edition 1966)

by Paul Gallico

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Title:The Man Who Was Magic; A Fable of Innocence
Authors:Paul Gallico
Info:Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1966.
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The Man Who Was Magic: A Fable of Innocence by Paul Gallico (1966)



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Substance: One of my favorite Gallico books, and very suitable for younger readers in need of a boost. Adults may approach it a bit more cynically, which is normal, but while it is "predictable" and two-dimensional, it isn't sappy.

NOTE: As with many older stories, the basic set-up of a mysterious stranger developing a close relationship with a child (male or female) is now considered problematic -- that does not diminish their interest or value, but it puts a cloud on the inspirational mentoring that we still consider important. ( )
  librisissimo | Dec 10, 2015 |
This is perhaps the most perfect story I have ever read. It has the beauty of the Snow Goose, but without any flaws.

When a genuinely magical person comes humbly to a town of conjurers and illusionists, most will find him a threat, some will find redemption and all will find their perspective changed forever. Its title and subtitle capture its character completely.

It is amazingly difficult to find copies of this book. My guess is that those who have a old copy wouldn't dream of letting it go and those who hold the rights to print it new have no idea what magic it contains.
  FergusS | Apr 4, 2014 |
It always amazes, and saddens, me that some of the most enjoyable and meaningful books, for adults, wind up being called "children's books" or "young adult". So it is with the majority of Paul Gallico's stories which show their amazing depth and worth when an adult reads them.

This one shows us how easy, and often, we applaud the sham and decry the true.

The Man Who Was Magic remains one of my favorite Gallico books - along with Jeannie. ( )
  mysterymax | Jan 23, 2013 |
I read it when I was in my 8th year at school. And I still have very fond remembrance of the book. Would love to read it again, if I can find it somewhere. ( )
1 vote Kido | Dec 19, 2008 |
I read this years ago and fell in love with it. It is written for children, but works on so many levels that adults can enjoy it too. A magical book. ( )
  bdickie | Aug 7, 2008 |
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Th estranger, dusty and travel-stained, accompanied by the small mop of a dog at his heels, emerged from the cool darkness of the woods where they had spend the night and paused for a moment in wonder at the first sight of their goal, Mageia, the magical city.
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One day, from beyond the dark, impenetrable Mountains of Straen, there appeared a wandering magician and his talking dog, to knock for admission at the bronze gates of the hidden city of Mageia, home of the masters of misdirection and sleight-of-hand. Innocence and belief had long since fled from Mageia and even the children had access to the secret books of tricks and knew there was no such thing as real magic. No one was aware of it, not even himself, but his presence constituted a danger to many within the walls. For it seemed that his magic might be different from theirs. This is the story of how innocence came to Mageia, faith was restored to a child, and what happened when the city and its inhabitants met The Man Who Was Magic.
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