Book Review: Hocus Pocus by Paul Kieve

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Phew, that’s Andrew’s Christmas shopping done – well, Phil’s gift anyway.

Monday saw the publication of West End illusion-meister Paul Kieve‘s new book, Hocus Pocus: A Tale of Magnificent Magicians and Their Amazing Feats.

Now attentive readers will know that Andrew claims to be a friend of Paul Kieve, although Phil has seen no evidence of this whatsoever and suspects they may be “friends” in the same way that Kriss Akabusi and Gillian Anderson are “friends” of Phil on Facebook.

Anyway, the claim came very close to being tested the other weekend when PK held a party. Unfortunately, because he had cried off from the West End Whingers party earlier in the year, Andrew insisted that etiquette dictates that the Whingers should snub PK in return, so Phil is still no wiser.

Anyway, Paul Kieve has created illusions for such West End Whinger favourites as Our House and Theatre of Blood. He also created the fabulous wind at the end of Act 1 of The Lord of the Rings – the Musical!

Now he has written Hocus Pocus:

Imagine the most amazing, most mysterious, most masterful magicians in history coming back to life and putting on the a magic show to end all magic shows — just for you!

Paul is obsessed with magic. Ever since he was given a magic set at the age of ten, he has been buying magic books, props and posters and honing his skills as a magician. He keeps all his magical paraphernalia in his house in Hackney, right around the corner from the magnificent Hackney Empire, a venue played at by all the great illusionists of the golden era of magic, some hundred years ago.

One day, Paul is on the phone to his friend, sitting in his ‘Poster Room’, and chatting about how well his magic show from the night before went, when he gets a strange sensation . . . Suddenly, the huge figure of Alexander steps out of the poster and starts telling Paul off for getting too big for his boots! Alexander and the other brilliant magicians in the posters are going to show Paul what magic is really about!

According to the publisher’s website it’s suitable for 9-11 year olds so PHil may have to read it with a dictionary alongside, but otherwise it’s ideal as the print is fairly large and just the thing for a hyperopic relative or friend.

Hocus Pocus: A Tale of Magnificent Magicians and Their Amazing Feats is published by Bloomsbury, has a foreword by Daniel Radcliffe and costs £12.99 (or £3 less at Waterstones or £4 less at Amazon)

Well, it’s more than Phil’s going to spend on Andrew.

Here’s the trailer:


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