1966 - Heinemann
1966 - Doubleday
Doug Lobdell - June 2002
When I was about 12 my Grandmother (who was a voracious reader) gave me The Man Who Was Magic. It became my favorite book then, and remains my all-time favorite book to this day. Its allegorical lessons about goodness and innocence frame those concepts better than anything else I've ever read (including the Bible, which I have the utmost respect for). I have been very surprised in recent years that such a fine tale does not seem to be worthy of republication. It is not listed by Amazon or Barnes and Noble - one has to search out of print resources to find it. I commend the book to any reader who enjoys a simple, almost childlike story with a great moral lesson.
David Loftus - February 2000
This is the only Gallico book I have ever read. I was introduced to it by a girlfriend many years ago, who read it aloud to me. Eventually I found my own copy, and years later read it to my wife. I hope no one will be put off if I praise this imaginative story as a sort of Christian allegory. (I am a lifelong atheist and my wife a recent convert to Judaism). The protagonist is a sort of holy innocent who yearns to join the powerful brotherhood of magicians and prestidigitators, who, because he turns out to possess truly magic powers while they are but tricksters and sleight-of-hand frauds, come to regard him with fear and loathing. But you don't have to regard him as a Christ figure, necessarily; he represents any good person, pure of heart, who runs afoul of the entrenched interests and hypocrisies of the powers that be.
These pages are copyright © Martin Benson 1999-2021. You are welcome to link to them.
Back to The Man who was Magic
Back to Paul Gallico Home Page