The Vanishing Magic of Snow – A Review

Abracadabra! From the Aramaic phrase “created as I say” — An incantation to heal. White Magic. White Snow.

Available on Amazon U.S. and Amazon U.K.

by Reb Macrath

The word “lose” appears forty-nine times in this fascinating novel; “vanish” appears eight times; the mythological poet Ovid appears twice. Ovid is known for his “Metamorphoses” or transformations as he leapt from story to story; he is known for his epilogues; he is know for his writing about love and how irrational it can be -even the gods of reason fall for it. I mention this because The Vanishing Magic of Snow is similarly episodic – story to story; time to time; bound together by a steely will to survive and, of course, magic. Many chapters appear to have quotations from vanishing authors who have momentarily manifested in this novel. The word play abounds and kept me entertained (“evil’s the root of all money”.”He still had his things and was someone, not some has-been who’d been had till he’d been halved and now had beans.”)

This book, The Vanishing Magic of Snow, tells the illusory and illustrious tale of humans who are transformed, sometimes by love, sometimes by circumstance, sometimes by magic. Objects appear to vanish before our eyes, but are they really lost? Or has the matter been transformed into energy and vice versa? Sonny Storm, evocative of Siegfried and Roy, was transformed; Candi Lee Pike, (who sings “Excuse Me While I Disappear” and “I Put A Spell On You”) was transformed; the “Hippie Magician” was transformed.Doc Marley was transformed and transformative. But was Jay transformed? That will be for us, the readers, to detect.

“From cops to newsmen to couples to whores, all spoke of their having been filled with white light and the sense of a fuse being lit. The same three words were on all lips: “The Almighty Shockeroo!” Jay Penny was the source of their amazement. Whence had he come? Where did he go? “A tidy row of shabby clothes marked the spot where Jay had been.” Well, he had been in Kentucky. He had been in Toronto. He had been in the Carolinas.He had been in Grossman’s. Along the way he met Ondaajte, Atwood, Cohen, Sarrazin and other glitterati of the Canadian bohemia of the 1970s. Jay took the “geographical cure” from the suffocating family and political climate of the U.S., but had he been healed?

He had been a telemarketer, and a “good” one at that. “And nothing was more welcome than a soft-spoken elderly mark. One high performer had won an award for selling a senile woman twenty-seven cell phones.” So Jay might have been transformed from telemarketer to teleporter; transformed from writing articles debunking Uri Geller to writing novels about Magic, we are not sure.

We are sure about one thing: the inevitability of snow and its melting. The novel’s central trope is “snow.”
“We may get the snow wrong and hope to be saved. But if the snow’s wrong about us, all is lost.” Sometimes the snow dances; sometimes the snow sparkles; sometimes the snow freezes in this very poignantly poetic novel which ends with a nod to Real Magic and a Forward located after the Epilogue. What just happened? Well, for one thing, I, the reader was spellbound by the frozen atmospheric vapor falling to earth in light flakes, by the snow.

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