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Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore [Kindle Edition]

Lance Parkin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"In Magic Words Lance Parkin has crafted a biography that is insightful, scrupulously fair-minded and often very funny, a considerable achievement given its unrelentingly grim, unreasonable and annoying subject. Belongs on the bookshelf of any halfway decent criminal profiler."

(Alan Moore)

"Magic Words is a highly readable biography, never becoming too embedded in its comic book history elements to alienate the reader who isn’t interested in its minutiae, but still providing plenty of food for thought."

(Paul Simpson Sci-Fi Bulletin)

"A remarkably lavish thing, with black-tipped pages, a purple spine, inset illustrations, cartoons, and photos... This is quite literally the book that fans have been starving for over the course of decades to take its place alongside the more art-based books and interview collections that have appeared in recent years. Here you have a book that places Moore alongside other great cultural movers and shakers well beyond the sphere of comics and it’s an excellent resource for gaining a wider understanding of the man and his work."

(Hannah Means-Shannon Bleeding Cool)

"It is completist, and yet it never once approaches being overbearing. It is a book that deserves its level of introspection and intimacy with its subject... Parkin shows consummate knowledge of his subject, and the end result of it all is that you do see how vital to modern publishing Moore is, and therefore how essential this book is to everyone vaguely interested in comics... Brilliant."

(John Lloyd

"A brave attempt to get to grips with one of the titans of modern pop culture... readers are sure to love the chapters about the creation of those dazzling early masterpieces"


"May Moore live long and prosper and may many thousands of fans buy Lance Parkin’s excellent biography and find out more about what makes him tick."

(Eamonn Murphy

“Superbly researched and lucidly argued, Magic Words encourages the reader to step back from the gallery of supposedly Manichean controversies and ossified preconceptions. With a determination to focus on the light rather than the heat of things, Parkin lends many of the most apparently unchallengeable aspects of Moore's career a new perspective… the portrait of its subject that emerges is enticingly fresh and repeatedly contrary to received wisdom… the disconnected expressions of genius and bloodymindedness are reframed as the product of one fascinating individual and his fiercely held principles and aspirations. It's a well-played accomplishment that makes Parkin's smart-minded analysis of Moore's work all the more compelling… I can only suggest that you drop everything and search out a copy of 'Magic Words' right now.”


"Magic Words is a book that manages to cater to all the different levels of the Moore fandom, whilst remaining simple and easy enough to read if you have never even heard of him. It is a biography that can be critical on occasion and at least once downright heartbreaking, but it is a fantastic and fitting portrait of a man who may, or may not be one of the greatest living comics writers of our time."

(Anton Krasauskas

"Throughout, Lance Parkin is witty and informed. He’s a devotee of Moore’s work, but not uncritical. He’s also happy to point out his protagonist’s contradictions."


"Lance Parkin is witty and informed. He is a devotee of Moore's work, but not uncritical. He's also happy to point out his protagonist's contradictions. You come away with an understanding of Moore the artist, but his day-to day life remains discreetly hidden. Just, you suspect, as Moore likes it."

(SFX magazine)

"A fascinating and even-handed look at Moore’s life… Parkin’s gift for… pattern recognition elevates his book from a by-the-numbers account into an altogether more satisfying examination of Moore’s life and remarkable body of work, as well as the changing business of comics over the last four decades."

(Tom Murphy

"**** A surprisingly balanced biography that through carefully deployed new and archival interviews doesn’t always find Moore on the right side of the argument. Lovingly presented with a glistening spot UV cover and black-cornered pages, it’s an essential primer for even the most casual comic-book fan."

(SciFi Now)

"The real story behind Britain's most influential writer. No, not JK Rowling, but Alan Moore, the man who created V is for Vendetta, From Hell and Halo. Lance Parkin's biography will have you running to read them again."


"A fascinating and comprehensive biography of one of the living masters of comic book writing... This is an essential book for any serious comics fan."

(Publishers Weekly)

"Magic Words shines brightest when it aims its insight at Moore’s work. Parkin’s dissection of Moore’s vast oeuvre, the opuses and the marginalia, are penetrating and fresh, with plenty of cogent contextualization regarding the history of comics as it pertains to Moore, and vice versa. And his breakdown of Moore’s creative process is fascinating in both its detail and its eerie quietude."

(A.V. Club)

"A fantastic history of one of our finest writers."

(Kim Ukura

"I'd suggest taking this book in one day at a time, really soaking up all of the information here ... because it truly is a lot. This is one of the most insightful, in depth biographies I've ever read."


"Beautifully researched, written and designed, Parkin's book is the perfect Christmas present for the comic book lover in your life, even if that lover is yourself." 


Product Description

"In Magic Words Lance Parkin has crafted a biography that is insightful, scrupulously fair-minded and often very funny, a considerable achievement given its unrelentingly grim, unreasonable and annoying subject. Belongs on the bookshelf of any halfway decent criminal profiler." ALAN MOORE For over three decades comics fans and creators have regarded Alan Moore as a titan of the form. With works such as V for Vendetta, Watchmen and From Hell, he has repeatedly staked out new territory, attracting literary plaudits and a mainstream audience far removed from his underground origins. His place in popular culture is now such that major Hollywood players vie to adapt his books for cinema. Yet Moore's journey from the hippie Arts Labs of the 1970s to the bestseller lists was far from preordained. A principled eccentric, who has lived his whole life in one English town, he has been embroiled in fierce feuds with some of the entertainment industry's biggest corporations. And just when he could have made millions ploughing a golden rut he turned instead to performance art, writing erotica, and the occult. Now, as Alan Moore hits sixty, it's time to go in search of this extraordinary gentleman, and follow the peculiar path taken by a writer quite unlike any other.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 21876 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1781310777
  • Publisher: Aurum Press (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781311463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781311462
  • ASIN: B00H855FCI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #345,269 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Lance Parkin is a British author, best known for writing fiction and reference books for television series, in particular Doctor Who (and spin-offs including the Virgin New Adventures and Faction Paradox) and Emmerdale. He also worked on the Emmerdale television series as a production assistant.
Parkin has a regular column, "Beige Planet Lance" in the Doctor Who fanzine Enlightenment, which is published by the Doctor Who Information Network.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Moore the merrier 9 Dec. 2013
By S. Bentley VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a nice little package, the printing on the cover is oddly luminous, the pages have black edges and there are (as you might hope) plenty of illustrations to guide us through the worlds of Alan Moore. And as another reviewer has commented this is really a quite comprehensive analysis not just of Alan's work (I don't know why I think I can refer to him as Alan, but I do) but also his life. In fact it is the biographical details that make this book so special. Most of the information about his work is familiar stuff to me, but its' the story of his life that is more interesting. Seeing where Alan Moore comes from is a great key to figuring out why he does what he does, and in this book we see where he came from and where he ended up. (Short answer: Northampton.) It doesn't go into minute details about his personal life or his relationships with other people in a tabloid manner, though it has the odd nice domestic detail, like a nice gag towards the end about how Moore not having the internet means he's not likely to know what a hashtag is, unless it's the sticker on a biscuit tin he keeps half-hidden in his kitchen. It's also very up-to-date, with mention of current and upcoming works.

Parkin is also clever enough not to offer just one perspective on things and to challenge the general agreements on the man's works, like pointing out that Watchmen is a very clever, very witty joke or assessing the importance of Lost Girls in terms of what it represents to Moore's goals. And as the other reviewer mentions, Parkin doesn't shy away from shining a light on the fallings out with publishers and collaborators down the years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alan Moore knows the score 18 Dec. 2013
By R. Gray
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A compelling read with many interesting topics covered, especially the sections on magic and the controversies over movie adaptations. After the rudimentary groundwork is established this becomes a very engaging book that I did not want to put down and I enjoyed it for the most part. However I found that the author sometimes tried to offer or suggest value judgements on Alan Moore's work or life choices which were often unimaginative and limited (and unnecessary). I did feel better informed after reading this book, but not all that much more intimate with the man himself. In summary a good comprehensive read about Alan Moore but no substitute for reading the man's own words. I recommend buying this book alongside Shuggoth Cultures to make up the difference!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book about Alan Moore to date 11 Nov. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Okay, I haven't read the academic American texts about the world's most famous graphic novelist but I have read the more accessible ones and this really is the best. Unlike the most recent biography (Alan Moore: Storyteller) by one of Moore's mates, this isn't authorised and author Larkin is prepared to delve into some of the more controversial aspects and in detail.

There's as much about Moore's relationships and attitudes towards the comic book industry as there is about the comics/graphic novels themselves. Just one example: there is a very detailed exploration of Moore's widely publicised dispute with DC Comics which the author looks at from both sides and attempts to evaluate the situation. He also discusses Moore's possible motives for his reactions to a variety of issues. So what makes this book stand out above others published to date is that this is as much about Alan Moore the man as Alan Moore the writer, something very much missing from the other title I cited and which I noted in my review of it here on Amazon. Actually, the two books complement each other quite nicely.

That said, it you only gotta buy one book about Alan Moore then this is one: perceptive, witty, and highly readable it's worth every penny.

Perhaps a little surprisingly, the man himself has given it a tacit nod of approval.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of Alan Moore's career to date 24 Dec. 2013
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
'Magic Words' is an excellent biography of its subject, but it's also something more than that. It gives the reader an insight into the economics and conditions of writing for comics, following Moore from the depths to the heights of the industry over a long period of time and in both the UK and the USA. Even readers who are agnostic about Moore's 'genius' - the author is respectful without being brown-nosed - should find a great deal of interest here; not just colourful tales, but serious analysis of such issues as creator control and the fraught relationship between comics and film.

The real Moore fan should be well-satisfied. This is a literate and properly researched book about a talented, larger-than-life and highly influential artist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very good read 17 Dec. 2013
By noddy r
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved it excellent reading would recommend to family and friends I enjoyed reading it my friend has asked for a read of it when i am finished with it
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