After Magic


A friend has been reading After Magic recently, and while chatting on the phone to them I picked up a copy again and turned to the section they were on… then ended up re-reading it myself!

It was good to do, having had a bit of distance from it for a while. I am actually really proud of it as a piece of work, and I really do believe that the ideas that came out of mixing up some brilliant pieces of literature within it are a) bloody good, b) timely and c) quite a way outside a lot of other books around at the moment.

So I thought that I’d flag it up again, just to say: if you’ve not read it, you should, and if you have, it’d be [wonderful (UK)] [awesome (US)] (please delete as appropriate) if you could write an online review on Amazon, or wherever. Seriously, it would mean a lot and help push the book wider – being self-published has been excellent, but it does rely on you fine people to do some raving.

And just to help along that a little… I’ve knocked 25% off all editions on! Spread the word!




3 responses to “After Magic”

  1. I loved the book, really, really enjoyed it.

    Couple of little bits here and there really pg16 – you remarked that it it was surprising that Rowling has borrowed themes from ‘The Tempest’. I didn’t feel that it was such a remarkable thing. Rowling is a very well researched author and a lot of her stuff digs deep into all sorts of mythology, has links and references to obscure legends and also there’s a lot of decent latin meaning in her spells. I think that it would be more surprising if she hadn’t borrowed themes from the great Bard, especially as Shakespeare has written so much good stuff and his ideas are so long-lived.

    As I was reading, i was reminded of the film ‘Hancock’ starring Will Smith and felt that it falls beautifully into these ideas up to a point. {spoiler alert} With the hero Hancock becoming gradually weaker and losing his powers if he gets close to another of the superheroes, he eventually has to make a choice to renounce his powers to embrace true love (of one of the superheroines) or to sacrifice his love to save the world (and her).
    Unfortunately that’s where the similarity breaks down, as Hancock makes his sacrifice out of love for her and the world he is commissioned to protect as a ‘super’. In some ways it is a bit like the film about magic & darkness that you examine (I forget the name and have loaned my book out!).

    I made a note on pg35 but that’s covered in my review on my blog.

    pg44 – I queried mentally as I felt like, from my experience, this might be historically true, but probably now there is more of a move toward corporate social responsibility / social justice as part of worship and congregating for fellowship & encouragement as another other part. Unless that is you were talking exclusively of the Catholic Church which I have no experience of!

    Lastly, I wondered if you thought that the authors actually knew what they were doing in writing with these subtexts etc in their works (referencing pg57).

    Anyway, like I said in the review at, I thought it was a brilliant book, I read Love Wins straight after it and they fit very nicely together, but though I’m usually a big Rob Bell fan, I think I enjoyed After Magic a little bit more!!

    Keep writing!

  2. Thanks Alex – loads to think on here. I’ve not seen ‘Hancock’ actually – one of a number of films I should try to get round to!
    I think you may be right about that on p44.
    In terms of intentionality, that’s a really interesting question and one, as a writer and reader, I’ve thought a lot about. Did Shakespeare know that he was doing all that he did? Did he mean to imbue his plays with such rich strands? The same question is worth asking of modern writers. So much is written about the themes and ideas and connections in various novels – but did the writers really intend each and every one of these? Or are they more subconscious?
    My view is that they are probably a mix of both, and that it would be a very brave writer who did not admit that sometimes they wrote things that only later came to have a deeper resonance. That’s certainly my experience of writing fiction: during the process of writing the novel I finished recently I found out only late on what the real drives of some of the characters were… things that had been subconscious in me all along.
    Now, some might then want to speculate on attribution…divine or otherwise… but I’ll leave that to others for now!

  3. Good points on ‘intentionality’, I guess I was initially thinking that more contemporary writers may be more aware of their influences and writing ‘with an agenda’ (to use a crude, vulgar and unforgiving term that I don’t mean anywhere near as judgementally as it may sound), but I suppose that it’s only our perspective on history that gives us our superior sense of self awareness and realistically, we can, as you highlight, write just as ‘blindly’ now and those older creatives may well have written very deliberately with a huge awareness of what they were doing.

    Also, having re-read my comment, I don’t want to sound like I’m criticising the Catholic Church (which it probably does at the moment), there must be a large and diverse array of different churches with different perspectives on that point, and probably I’m just fortunate enough to be part of one that seems to have a fairly healthy balance and the blogs etc. I read also are generated from a much more ‘social gospel’, ‘After Magic’ (if you will allow the term) perspective.