Mr. Sebastian and
The Negro Magician

Daniel Wallace
Tom Stechschulte

(Recorded Books)
The "Negro Magician," Henry Walker, works with Jeremiah Musgrove's Chinese Circus, traveling through the 1950s southern United States, doing magic tricks.

There are, evidently, no Chinese associated with the circus. The name was stuck in there to attract suckers. As, was, apparently, the now suspect word "Negro" in the title. To attract customers, that is.

Henry Walker is, as a magician, more or less a joke, despite having personally met with the devil in his father's hotel room, when he was twelve. Even then, he was a practicing magician so, with the help of Beelzebub, he was able to make his much beloved younger sister disappear. Poof. He didn't have much experience in the disappearing routine, less in the reappear, for he wasn't able to retrieve her from whatever sixth dimension space he had banished her to. That's the kind of magician Henry is: He can't do tricks --- or at least their follow-ups --- worth shit.

We stayed with this one until the afternoon they took Henry "the Negro Magician" to a field outside of town where he got beat up by the usual piggy ignorant racist southern honkies. They kick him a lot, break an arm and a rib, mash up his face as best they are able, bleeding in the eyes and all. He lies there, Jesus-like, not complaining a whit.

As Inter-Racial Thrash Literature, this pummeling is neither enlightening, nor, certainly funny. The reading is fair-to-middling, but the prose is not something to write home about. The story is, in a word, if my disabled brothers and sisters will forgive me, lame.

--- C. A. Amantea
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