By Mike Russell
Print Length: 268 pages
Release Year: 2020
Genre: Fantasy Contemporary
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 3.84
Available on Amazon
Does magic exist? Charlie Watson thinks it does and he wants to tell you all about it. Before he was famous, Charlie Watson decided to write a book to share with the world everything he knew about magic. This is that book. You will discover why Charlie always wears a top hat, why his house is full of rabbits, how magic wands are made, how the universe began, and much, much more. Plus, for the first time, Charlie tells of the strange events that led him from England to the Arctic, to perform the extraordinary feat that made him famous, and he finally reveals whether that extraordinary feat was magic or whether it was just a trick. (Goodreads)
Special thanks to StrangeBooks for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Magic is the second book I’ve read by Mike Russell, and it definitely continues to perpetuate what seems to be an overarching theme of his writing: the whimsicality of otherness. His writing continues to come off as consistently surreal, as Russell is one the better surrealist writers. In Magic, he again utilises simplistic writing to vividly illustrate a dadaistic view version of the world, that at times feels a little like a fever dream.
Magic takes a magical view of the world in the most literal sense, going so far as to describe the big bang as an immense act of magic. Magic in this book is often present as a soft version of itself, for the sake of continuing the themes of otherness. There is certain humour that the softer writing style allots Russell, as he tells a story that manages to feel anything but serious. The book isn’t really meant to be serious, but for those who like to look deep to find more existential themes Russell’s work delivers.
This book is a speedy read, largely due to the casual writing style. The experience of reading this book is reminiscent of the whimsy of reading a magical children’s book, only more existential. It’s a great comfort read, something that really lightens the mood; which is honestly what we need most this year.
While I enjoyed this book very much, for purely subjective reasons, my personal rating is a little lower. This, I believe, is primarily due to personal circumstances that simply led to this book just not sitting right with me. I think that if I read under a calmer circumstance, I would have easily rated it higher, but as of late books such as this haven’t appealed to me. Regardless I’m interested in reading more by Russell in the future, as well as keeping up with the author’s releases. I recommend this book to anyone who just needs to escape for a bit in the more relaxing reading environment this book creates.