• Life Is Magic

  • An Extraordinary True Story of Trauma and Transformation
  • By: Jon Dorenbos, Larry Platt
  • Narrated by: Jon Dorenbos
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (449 ratings)

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Life Is Magic  By  cover art

Life Is Magic

By: Jon Dorenbos,Larry Platt
Narrated by: Jon Dorenbos
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Publisher's 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 may know him as an NFL All-Pro or as a world-class magician who made the finals of America’s Got Talent, but Jon Dorenbos says that what he does is not who he is. He is someone who coached himself, at the most tender of ages, to turn 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 essentially been 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, he was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition leaving him with a choice. To either break down or - as he’d by now long taught himself - bounce back. 

Life Is Magic shows how we can all choose happiness in the face of overwhelming odds” (Ellen DeGeneres) and provides a road map for overcoming even the darkest of times. Jon’s 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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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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WOW WOW WOW

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

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A Must Read!!

This book is truly inspriational!!! reminds me to be grateful and don't allow others to take your joy!!

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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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Real Life, Real Person

I can't say anything other than how positively & prospective are unmatched. a must listen!

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Amazing Book

Made me laugh, cry like a baby and fall in love with magic and American Futbol.

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Beautiful!

LOVED this book! Made me laugh, cry and motivated to lead a great life!!! Very Inspiring!!!

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Inspirational story, told beautifully

Jon Dorenbos’ story of his life is incredible. It was an emotional journey that left me feeling full inside. He did a really nice job telling his amazing story. I found myself looking up specific moments on YouTube, which was fun since I knew nothing of his time on America’s Got Talent or appearances on Ellen.

Very strongly recommend this book.

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He is a lovely man with a beautiful story.

I bought the book because I know him from Ellen. So some of the chapters I didn’t understand but now if anyone ever says long snapper I will think of him. His voice is pleasant and sincere which makes it easy to listen to. I wish there was a pdf with all the quotes he reads at the beginning of each chapter. A compilation of wisdom. Hard to write down while driving. But very interesting story and life.

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Thank you Jon!

Radical Acceptance, Resilience, Humility, Kindness, Love, and Forgiveness. Jon’s story deeply touched my heart, and inspired me to move towards more positivity and forgiveness in my own life. “We alive baby!” Thank you for sharing your story Jon!

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  • garycowdry
  • 02-12-20

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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  • Nick
  • 12-05-19

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.