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The Lives of a Showman
A wonderful memoir of a life in show biz
If you think that biographies and memoirs are dull, boring and stuffy, this book will change your mind. You’ll find no tricks here — instead, you’ll find a delightful, sometimes touching, and often hilarious account of the life of a professional entertainer.
Mark Lewis is a close-up and cabaret magician, a children’s performer, a pitchman, a psychic and a hypnotist — and now, a writer. In this wonderfully engaging memoir, you will follow him from his early beginnings in posh London nightclubs to pitching Svengali decks in Blackpool, from being the most famous psychic in Dublin to becoming a hypnotist in Toronto, from performing for drunks to performing for royalty, and much, much more. Along the way, you will find a cast of colourful and often remarkable people, none more so than the author himself:
“Mark is one of the truly interesting characters in the world of show business. He has a brilliant yet wicked sense of humour, and is often misunderstood by his peers. As someone who has known him for much of his life, I consider him to be a man of incredible talent as both a performer and grafter [demonstrator]. He is extremely resourceful, and is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to magic and other branches of entertainment. His life is truly one of mystery and intrigue, and he is a wonderful raconteur as will be seen in the pages of this masterpiece. I would consider Mark to be a true showman, and his personality is indeed multi-faceted. I know you will love reading ‘The Lives of a Showman’.”
—Roger Blakiston, a.k.a. Jolly Roger
The Lives of a Showman is a wonderful story told by a highly entertaining author. A must-read for anybody interested in show-biz life in the trenches.
“I am an avid reader and this is one of my favorite books I have ever read. Please note that I did not restrict my comment to ‘magic books.’ There is a rawness and honesty to Mark’s book that I have very rarely seen. I frequently found myself reading a chapter, chuckling away to myself and then without warning I would realize I was reading something quite dark and powerful. I have never read a description of live performance that comes close to the vividness of Mark’s prose.
“I honestly feel that this book is a masterpiece. Just like the author, it is flawed, fascinating, hilarious, infuriating and just when you think you know where it is heading, it takes an incredible turn into the deepest levels of human experience. You realize that a man who has spent his life deceiving people has just been more brutally honest than you could ever imagine.
“I obviously feel the book is fantastic.”
—James Munton, professional magician, author of The Con,
past president, IBM, SAM
“Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put The Lives of a Showman down. Mark Lewis has had a fascinating life, and tells it well. I laughed out loud at some of the stories, and almost cried at others. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with Mark, and had heard some of the stories before. Reading them brought those memories back, and I could hear Mark’s voice as I read. This book contained a number of surprises, too. I didn’t expect to read an extremely unusual and sad love story, for instance. It must have been hard for Mark to write about this, and it shows how kind and compassionate he is. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”
—Richard Webster, psychic entertainer and best-selling author
“Mark Lewis’ book Lives of a Showmanis very good. Lewis is a real character and his stories are wonderful. Highly recommended.
“I really enjoyed the book. It’s full of great stories from Mr. Lewis’ unique perspective. I was entertained throughout and learned a great deal about the author and his work.
“The book is worth buying. I wasn’t disappointed.”
—R. Paul Wilson, magician and author
“I have been reading two books recently: Steinmeyer’s new opus on Thurston and the autobiographical Lives of a Showman. I was struck by the similarities between the two. I suspect that I could switch books chapter by chapter and be remarkably impressed by the similarities of the two protagonists in background, performance approach and ego. Both performers hold similar philosophies regarding their audiences and both maintain a certain antagonistic relationship with their audiences (both professional and accidental). In some ways, Lives of a Showmanreveals more about its subject (not surprising as it is a first-person narrative), but both are eminently readable. It is quite enjoyable to discover that the acerbic persona both have created often belies a thoughtful and generous (if hidden) nature. While I finished the Steinmeyer book quite quickly, I am still making progress on Showman — not because it is a difficult read, but rather because each paragraph encourages a panoply of self-reflection. I am enjoying the journey, and, while I look forward to finishing the book, I am, at the same time, quite reluctant as I suspect it will leave more questions than it answers.”
—Andrew Pinard, professional magician