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Publisher's Summary

Fame, fortune, and beautiful models - Howard Chandler Christy had them all.

Christy was the most famous American painter of the Jazz Age, a time when an elite brotherhood of New York artists dominated the publishing world. Christy had eclipsed all of them with his ''Christy Girl'', an idealized woman who redefined beauty, influenced fashion, and inspired generations of women.

The Magic of Youth is the first book in An Affair with Beauty - The Mystique of Howard Chandler Christy, a biographical trilogy of the artist's epic life as told primarily through the eyes of his second wife, Nancy, a former Cosmopolitan model once considered to be one of the most beautiful women in America. As she reflects on her life, Nancy tells of first meeting Christy in 1912 and becoming his top model. She is captivated by his irresistible charm and the glamour of his enchanting world, but discovers that things are not always what they seem and even the great Christy has scandalous secrets.

©2016 James Philip Head (P)2016 James Philip Head

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

OUTSTANDING! THIS WILL MAKE A GREAT MOVIE!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Magic of Youth to be better than the print version?

The audio version brings the true, epic story of legendary painter Howard Chandler Christy to life. Although it is biographical in nature, the narrative flows like a best-selling novel, both lyrical and nostalgic. The print version is also excellent with 63 color and black and white photos and illustrations placed throughout the hardbound book. Both are of the highest quality.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magic of Youth?

There are so many memorable scenes in the story. One such indelible event was Christy's lavish lawn party in the summer of 1912 at his mansion The Barracks where the guest of honor is the famous mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart. Hundreds of guests fill the Christy green in their summer finery.

Have you listened to any of Pamela Almand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I have not, but I will definitely do so. Her voice is pitch perfect for the narration as she channels Nancy Palmer Christy, a former Cosmopolitan model and beauty. Her voices for each of the other characters (as expressed by and through Nancy) is incomparable, if not astounding.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The most famous painter of the Jazz Age. In his quest for true beauty, he captured an era.

Any additional comments?

A book reader's must. This is destined to become a classic---a rare story where true life becomes art, and the art of life is the true story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A fascinating memoir

I was surprised with how this memoir was put together and told. I normally don't read/listen to memoirs/biographies, but this was an compelling story. As an artist myself, I also learned to see many things through another artist's eyes. It's defenitely a book I'm going to listen to more than once!

The painter, Howard Chandler Christy's story is told by his wife Nancy, who had kept many diaries documenting her life with him. Howard Chandler Christy was obsessed with beauty and painting beautiful people. His special visual talent made him famous all over the world. The writing is compelling, beautiful and lyrical and my ears were swimming with imaginative vocabulary.

The story was narrated by Pamela Almand and she did an outstanding job. Her voice pulls you into the world of Christy and you're captivated from the first moment. It's not easy to narrate a non-fiction story, but Pamela nailed it.

*This book was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent read!

If you could sum up The Magic of Youth in three words, what would they be?

Engrossing, Fun, Entertaining

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how it was written, you could use the words to see the story in your mind!

Which character – as performed by Pamela Almand – was your favorite?

I really liked Miss Palmer!

If you could rename The Magic of Youth, what would you call it?

Beauty with words?
I love the title, youth IS magic.

Any additional comments?

Great read, waiting for part 2!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable listen

Would you listen to The Magic of Youth again? Why?

No, I usually only listen to a book once, but I have recommended this book to friends.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magic of Youth?

I loved that it captured so lyrically a time and place I knew nothing about and took me on a journey. It reads like a novel.

Have you listened to any of Pamela Almand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, this is the first book I've listened to her narrate.

Any additional comments?

I knew nothing about Howard Chandler Christy before I listened to this book. I do not typically listen to biographies, I prefer fiction generally. This book was slow for me to get involved with and I almost gave up after the first chapter but I am glad I did not. It read more like a novel and sucked me in.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • janien
  • hampshire, UK
  • 09-25-16

Interesting factual historical fiction about an iconic American Artist

The first of a trilogy about the artist. I was reticent as I knew nothing about Christie. The presentation though is excellent and engaging, the reader having a truly beautiful voice, in keeping with the title.

Story matter is interesting,a biography as told from the perspective of Christies second wife and one of his models. Worth listening to, particularly if interested in art.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good listen to transport you in time

Where does The Magic of Youth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is right up there. It makes a true story with all the historical details very interesting and thrilling and you know the writer knows what he is talking about.

What about Pamela Almand’s performance did you like?

I have listened to a lot of her audiobooks but this is the first biography I have listened to. She brings the same energy and emotion to this book to make even a non-fiction book exciting and interesting. She gives a distinct voice to each person and makes you feel like you're right there with them all.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didn't want it to end and I think it ended too abruptly without answering my questions but I'll certainly listen to the second one to find out the rest of the story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This is a fascinating exciting and true biography

Where does The Magic of Youth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

best of the non-fiction books

What about Pamela Almand’s performance did you like?

She makes this come alive and keeps the story interesting even with the historical background details. This is not the usual dry biography and it is told with a storyteller's skill.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Gatsby of the Art World

Any additional comments?

It makes me want to know much more about this artist and why he wasn't famous. I would like to listen to the next book written by Head.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This reads like a novel and I can't wait for #2

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is beautifully-written and the voice is perfect for the characters and story

Which scene was your favorite?

When Nancy first came to the mansion on the hill and discovered it was Howard's home and she was already falling in love with him. I liked the character's voices and the descriptions of the amazing times they lived in and the famous friends they had.

Who was the most memorable character of The Magic of Youth and why?

Howard

Any additional comments?

This was an easy book to listen to and the reader had a smooth pleasant delivery that matched what I pictured perfectly and was never boring as in some biographies I have listened to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Charming, Intriguing, and Educational

If you could sum up The Magic of Youth in three words, what would they be?

Truth, Beauty, Illusion

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the 3rd person story telling technique not typically found in a biography. Learning about Howard Chandler Christy though the eyes of his wife, who was also his model and muse, offered captivating detail and insight into the life of this major artist who was all but forgotten until Mr. Head's excellent work.

Which character – as performed by Pamela Almand – was your favorite?

Pamela Almand showed outstanding range and skill as the narrator of this story. If I had to pick a favorite character as performed by Almand it would be Nancy Palmer.

Who was the most memorable character of The Magic of Youth and why?

Howard Chandler Christy was the most memorable character. Learning about his genius and the historical significance of his talent and works was enriching.

Any additional comments?

Mr. Head is a brilliant writer and should be commended for immortalizing the life of Howard Chandler Christy for future generations.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Review

Enjoyed the first and now I don't want to wait for the next two novels.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful