In Blackstone, A Magician’s Life, magic historian Dan Waldron tackles the awesome task of telling the life story of the last great magician of magic’s Golden Age. And what a story it is! From early days in vaudeville to the foremost illusion show in the world, Blackstone’s life and career are among the most interesting in magic. Most importantly, Blackstone — a renowned character — is aptly captured in this portrait, which includes the famous theater fire incident and many of Blackstone’s backstage escapades. This beautifully produced volume (even the dust jacket is a work of art) contains a terrific collection of photographs, as well as sections contributed by George Johnstone and Nick Ruggiero, who worked on the Blackstone show. My only criticism is that Waldron’s writing style tends toward the wordy and ponderous (for example, the book’s full title is Blackstone, a Magician’s Life : The World and Magic Show of Harry Blackstone, 1885-1965!) Yet Waldron’s vast knowledge of and deep affection for his subject more than compensate for any stylistic limitiations, and Blackstone’s colorful story transcends any stylistic limitiations. This is a book you will savor.
Copyright 1998-2001 Gary R. Brown