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Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781310777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781310779
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"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

"The best study of Moore we have so far … valuable for anyone interested in keeping up with one of the geniuses working in fantastic literature."

(Joe Sanders The New York Review of Science Fiction)

“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

"While Parkin is obviously a fan with an exhaustive knowledge of Moore’s life and work, he doesn’t allow his fanboy nature to blind him to the more abrasive and inexplicable actions and statements of his subject. He asks what we’re to make of Moore’s claims of magic, his sometimes baffling contrariness, and most tellingly, is it possible that the joke is on Moore’s most loyal and ardent fans? These valuable questions take Parkin’s book beyond casual biography and into much more challenging and worthwhile territory."

(Glenn Dallas San Francisco Book Review)

About the Author

LANCE PARKIN is a British author, best known for writing fiction and reference books for television series, most notably Doctor Who. He is an Alan Moore completist, having followed the comics maestro's career since the 1970s, and in 2001 he wrote an acclaimed guide to Moore's work, which has since been updated and reissued. In addition to contributing pieces to magazines such as TV Zone, SFX and Doctor Who Magazine, he is also the co-author of Dark Matters, a guide to Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. He lives in the USA.

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