In his day, Paul Daniels was the most famous magician in the world. His feats of illusion earned him the highest honours the magic world could award, and his astonishing talent brought him worldwide recognition and admiration that will long outlive him.
Behind the guise of the master magician, the consummate showman, lay a man of great intellect, wit and humour. But his dazzling career sometimes belied a private life that had more than its share of ups and downs - from his grim experiences in the army through to the pain and heartbreak of a broken marriage.
In this, his only autobiography, he spoke for the first time about his incredible life and career. Although he was a master illusionist, there are no illusions here among the revelations of the happiness and sadness that filled his life. Among much else, the book speaks honestly about his relationship with his oldest son, and of the new life Paul made with Debbie McGee, his glamorous on-stage assistant.
And then, of course, there was the magic. Whether he was making elephants disappear or performing card tricks with timeless professionalism, his repertoire was extraordinary. Perhaps surprisingly, his book reveals the secrets behind some of his most famous and entertaining performances - although he kept plenty up his sleeve, secrets that shall now perhaps never know.
Paul Daniels: My Magic Life, is a book to entertain readers, certainly. More than that, however, it will both move and intrigue them as it reveals the secret life of a much loved entertainer who was, in every sense, a magician to the end.