Mister Magic

Books on Tape. Aug. 2023. 10:34 hrs. ISBN 9780593606926. $76. THRILLER
A Pandora’s box of sugar-coated toxic nostalgia is opened when a podcast revisits the popular 1990s kids’ television program Mister Magic. Many children were drawn to the show and desperately wanted to hang out with the charismatic titular magician and his Circle of Friends. The magic couldn’t last, though. A tragic accident ended the show’s production, and most in the Circle grew up to have less-than-magical adulthoods. The cast reunites 30 years after Mister Magic ended, to be on a podcast dedicated to the show. Val has no memories of those years, but when she reencounters the other cast members, she remembers that her childhood wasn’t always magical, and Mister Magic wasn’t always benevolent. In this supernatural thriller, White (Hide) once again displays her skills at writing for an ensemble cast, never letting anyone become lost in the shadows. The former members of the Circle are well developed and then dissected before listeners’ ears. Narrator Rebecca Lowman provides a convincing portrayal of shell-shocked Val, the only one willing to peek under Mister Magic’s cape and unpack what was done to them.
VERDICT Fans of Stephen King’s It and other stories that dissect precious childhood memories will want to get acquainted with Mister Magic and the Circle.
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