Posted in Male Author, Nonfiction

#20BooksOfSummer22 Review: Amoralman

AMORALMAN: A True Story and Other Lies by Derek DelGaudio

Early last year, I watched Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself, the filmed version of his one-man show. DelGaudio is a very talented magician and his illusions are wrapped in a semi-autobiographical stage-play that strongly includes the audience. He doesn’t so much do tricks in In & Of Itself as much as he creates effects to augment his storytelling. And in that venue, he’s a really good storyteller.

Amoralman, for me, isn’t as successful. Partly, this is because I’m used to magician biographies being fairly divorced from the theatrics of the stage. For me, the most interesting parts of Amoralman are the more biographical details, including DelGuadio’s time working as a “bust-out” dealer at a private poker game—basically, he worked as a card cheat. When DelGuadio brings in philosophy regarding his situation, the writing takes on a pretentious air. This works in his stage show, backed by deft magic; in writing, the theatrics just don’t work.