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Magic Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Magic

Charles "Corky" Withers is on the verge of hitting the big time. His magic act includes the winning hook of a heckler/ventriloquist dummy named Fats. Unfortunately, Corky's acting a bit erratic, too -- sleeping with overnight pickups, refusing to sign the contracts his pushy agent Ben "The Postman" Greene has been getting him -- and he escapes to the upstate New York of his boyhood, there to encounter ex-cheerleader Peggy Ann Snow, the woman of his teenage year dreams, now the aging hotelier/wife of philandering ex-ballplayer Ronnie "Duke" Wayne. The idea of a dummy overpowering the psyche of his schizoid operator is not new (see the 1945 movie "Dead of Night"), this horror thriller is a step down from Goldman's best (Marathon Man, The Princess Bride), and lovely Anthony Hopkins was badly miscast in the lead role of the 1978 movie, yet there are some lovely connecting bits of reality that have the ring of truth: Corky's adolescent yearnings for Peggy and success with the Charles Atlas bodybuilding course, the enthusiastic apprentice attached to aging and alcoholic has-been magician "Mr. Merlin." Plenty of patented Goldman plot twists, too, although a few strain credulity. A good beach read.
This report prepared by David Loftus








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Chapter Analysis of Magic

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   Dry-cynical Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Horror Story?    -   Yes Horror plotlets    -   the inanimate object chased me!

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Forest?    -   Yes Water?    -   Yes Water:    -   drowning Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   touching of anatomy Unusual forms of death    -   blunt clubbing (like seals) Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Magic

William Goldman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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