January 7, 2009

Hocus Pocus: A Tale of Magnificent Magicians is clearly no hokum

Wouldn't you just love to use magic to tweak your circumstances to your advantage to slip out of tight and sticky situations and move ahead, or just completely zap the nasty nuisances away with a wink, a spell, or even a wave of a magic wand, such as in magical movies like Harry Potter? Well, I sure would like for my house bores, or chores, to be instantly done with a murmur or a flick of my finger, like when Mrs. Weasley gestured her hand from a distance for the ladle to stir the pot, while she engaged herself in a conversation, or when the Leaky Cauldron tidied itself up, with the chairs hauling themselves onto the table and a sweeping broom independent of any actual hands, save for a spell uttered, or a hand, or a wand flicked upon it by the pub's staff, if my memory holds clearly. However, while magic could be very appealing to some, a lot of us know better, and others consider it as nothing but hokum. Even so, magic certainly makes for great amusement, such as in Paul Kieve's book, Hocus Pocusthat is, only if you don't get enchanted entirely by it, as in the case of a young wizard.

Paul Kieve, who was the magic consultant in the making of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, had apparently captivated Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter—a piece of trivia for those of you who are still uninformed to this day, with his tremendous knowledge and skill in magic that the idea for a book started to brew.

There was indeed a Hocus Pocus book formerly written in 1634. It was considered the first comprehensive book on magic in English, from which lessons on magical skills still fascinate to this day. Paul's book, however, is not just a compendium of magic tips and tricks, but an enthralling tale of a nameless novice who inexplicably finds himself in the tutelage of the greatest of magicians who ever lived and performed at the legendary Hackney Empire Theater in London during the "golden age" of magic in the early 1900s. The master magicians, including The Man Who Knows, The Great Lafayette and his terrible tragedy, the couple, Servais Le Roy and Talma, Robert Houdin, David Devant, Chung Ling Soo, Ionia, and The Great Harry Houdini, not only present their fantastic feats, but also reveal the secret behind magic which sustains it. With Houdini capping the protagonist's beguiling encounters with history's most brilliant magical acts, he eventually discovers the ultimate lesson in magic, which can be applied to life in general. Here's a dash of magical morsels, something of "prestidigitation" and perspiration, along with the other magical secrets in this spellbinding book. Experience the magical realm of Hocus Pocus for mere entertainment or real passion.

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