Magic: a Life in More Worlds than One

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Famous for his book Magic: An Occult Primer, first published in 1972 and since then never out of print, David Conway has finally released the first volume of his autobiography Magic: A Life In More Worlds Than One,  , In it he describes a life which on all levels, magical and mundane, is packed with incident and unforgettable characters, mostly of this world but some, too, from those other worlds of the title.

From his early years in rural Wales, already imbued with magic, we accompany the young narrator to college in London and from there out into the wider world. On the journey he runs away with the circus, meets an extraterrestrial (in a gay bar in Brussels!) and rubs shoulders with the great and the good – he even watches movies with the queen at Balmoral Castle.

Throughout the narrative flows the magic. Fifty years ago the writer and philosopher Colin Wilson described Conway’s Magic an Occult Primer as “the best book on magic ever written”. Now the man behind it wittily – and stylishly – describes what went into the making of the book but, more importantly, what went into the making of himself. His account will charm sceptics and believers alike.

“The style is the man,” and Conway is a lovely writer. This is an enchanting book, in service of the insight – epigraph to the book, from Einstein – that “Reality is an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” Phil Baker, The Fortean Times.