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Life Is Magic

An Extraordinary True Story of Trauma and Transformation
Narrated by: Jon Dorenbos
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

“Jon Dorenbos is a magical person. Life Is Magic shows how we can all choose happiness in the face of overwhelming odds.” (Ellen DeGeneres)

An extraordinary and empowering true story of resilience, forgiveness, and living a life of purpose in the face of unfathomable obstacles.

You might recognize him as an NFL All-Pro or as an elite magician who made the finals of America’s Got Talent and regularly appears on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But Jon Dorenbos says that what he does is not who he is. Who he is is someone forced, at the most tender of ages, to coach himself into turning tragedy to triumph. 

One morning in August 1992, when Jon was 12 years old and living a seemingly idyllic childhood in suburban Seattle, he woke up for baseball camp. His dad waved good-bye. Later that day, Jon heard the news: His father had murdered his mother in the family’s three-car garage. In an instant, his life had shattered. He’d been essentially orphaned. 

Thrust into foster care while his father stood trial for murder, Jon struggled. Left to himself, he discovered an unlikely escape performing magic tricks. If you found a way to alter your reality, after your dad - your hero - killed your mom, wouldn’t you cling to it, too? Then came football, which provided a release for all of his pent-up anger. Together, magic and football saved him, leading to 14 NFL seasons on the gridiron and raucous sleight of hand performances to packed houses across the globe. 

In 2017, after being traded to the New Orleans Saints, Jon was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. He had a choice: break down, or - as he’d long by now taught himself - bounce back. “Talk to yourself, don’t listen to yourself”, Dorenbos advises for those moments when the inner voice of self-doubt screams. 

In Life Is Magic, Dorenbos draws a road map for how to shut that voice up by choosing happiness. At his darkest times, he writes, he’s learned lessons of love, forgiveness, and perseverance. His story is poignant and powerful, told by a charismatic and optimistic man who has overcome life-or-death challenges with grace, persistence, a childlike sense of wonder...and jaw-dropping card tricks.

©2019 Jon Dorenbos (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Life Is Magic

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Brilliant!

It felt like I was there with Jon on every step of his journey. I’ve never felt so emotional while listening to a book....

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Wow!

loved this book, I knew a little about the author and was very curious about this story. I was very surprised as to how much it hit home and how much I was effected by this guys wonderfully candid account of his life.

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  • Heather Burk
  • 06-11-19

Powerful & Inspiring

Amazing story that dives into the deepest, most vulnerable areas of the human psyche that Jon was forced to travel through. The areas that are often filled with anger and pain, and shows you how one could choose to stay in that spot and become a victim, or one could choose, like Jon, to be better. To face the hard feelings, heal, and force yourself to choose happiness through forgiveness, positivity, and giving of self. Very powerful and inspiring.

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  • Jkcpops
  • 09-11-19

WOW WOW WOW

wonderful book. great message. I laughed - I cried - I cheered. must read. thank you Jon

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  • S. Hammond
  • 08-11-19

Powerful and genuine

This profoundly moving real life story will not leave a dry eye in the house. It's amazing that Jon Dorenbos had journals and a vivid memory of the events surrounding his mother's death. He could have repressed or denied the details, but he brings this difficult passage alive in his transparent account of his 13th year. As much as his life involves tragedy, he was also blessed to have the therapist he did at the time, family support, and many redemptive experience over the years. I love this -- a story of trauma, and of magic and miracles.

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  • Danielle Veirs
  • 29-09-20

loved it

loved this book. the story and the presentation is just like his act. John we are with you and support you always

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  • Elizabeth J. Schofield
  • 18-09-20

Attention Getting

I started listening to this while I walked. To motivate myself to walk I told myself I could only listen to it while I walked. I couldn’t wait to walk each day because each chapter was just as good as the first. It was a captivating book all the way through. This is one of the very few books that I would listen to more than once.

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  • Danny L. MacE
  • 01-09-20

Awesome and Inspirational read!

Jon has overcome so much strive by becoming an inspiration to others. I truly loved this book.

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  • Lori
  • 28-08-20

Magical

I saw Jon on the Ellen show several times and knew a little bits & pieces of his story. I could never imagine what his younger years were like going through what he did. I loved his positive attitude & how he gives God praise for different things in his life.

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  • Barbara
  • 20-08-20

Loss

This book taught me so me much,you have taught me to love,forgiven deal

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  • niko
  • 13-05-20

What I needed

I have gone through life similar and this spoke to me as a man and such a powerful message from a powerful guy. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  • calvin h
  • 13-05-20

I love it

this book made me laugh and cry. I understand what he went thru I lost my mom too. It is a good book. I listened to the whole book and one setting.