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The Magic Misfits

Written by: Neil Patrick Harris
Narrated by: Neil Patrick Harris
Length: 4 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, November 2017

Neil Patrick Harris' first book is full of the usual Dickensian cliches so common in children's books - a poor orphan and crooked, greedy adult trying to exploit him - but Harris makes it his own by adding legit magic tricks and endearing personal asides to the audience. The story is light and fun, and fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events will love it. But the best part is Harris' narration. His charm and charisma come through in full force, making you feel like you are his best friend and he is telling the story just for you. —Sonja, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

From beloved award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.

When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B. B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on.

After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded kids. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they'll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso's villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series.

(Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I'll let you in on a little secret. This book isn't just a book. It's a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even stage tricks. Keep your ears peeled and you'll discover more than just a story - you'll find magic.)

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Neil Patrick Harris (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"An earnest message about discovering the magic in the world and finding the family that suits you." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Fun.... A worthy first volume." ( BCCB)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unremarkable

7 yo and 4 yo say there are much better options out there and I have to agree.

I felt this really just fell flat and I was expecting more from Neil.

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very interesting and quite enjoyable.

loved it and will recommend , thank you very much, i really enjoyed the story.

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Iove it so much

Sooooooooooooo good I loved it you should get it wat ever it takes! 🤗🥰😘🥰😍😍🤗 love it so much

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love it

we loved this story. the narration is great.
great for any commute or road trip for family.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Saralynn Dobler
  • 2017-12-02

A kids book EVERYONE will enjoy

This book is fantastic! Who would have thunk that Neil Patrick Harris could be such a wonderful author. This book was WAY better than I thought it would be, and I always find it MAGICAL when an author narrates his own audiobook. AND the narration was adjusted to BE an audiobook. I CANNOT WAIT to read the rest. I just can't get over how good this book was, it was perfect. Thank you Mr. Harris, this was wonderful.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Fox
  • 2018-09-11

Wonderful performance!

I came across “The Magic Misfits” as I was browsing the newest releases at my favourite Indigo store. I was thrilled to find out that Neil Patrick Harris wrote a book! The cover looked so adorable that I couldn’t wait to read it. Since I occasionally struggle with middle-grade books, I went to my favourite option - that is an audiobook.

“The Magic Misfits” has a gorgeous cover! And for once, I can’t decide whether I like US or UK edition better!

“The Magic Misfits” is read by Neil Patrick Harris himself and it was a treat to my ears. I should not have expected anything less than a stellar performance from him, but I was still thrilled. He has a perfect voice range and goes from low and grumbly to high pitched. Neil also performs all the songs in the story, and that was just an added bonus! The audiobook is only 4 hours long, so I went through it fairly quickly.

My admiration for Neil’s performance, I was a bit bored by the plot. It is a cute story about an almost orphaned runaway boy who finds his place in the world and his new family. Everything from Carter’s backstory (which really reminded me of Oliver Twist for some reason) to the magic shop and carnival, to the group of unpopular kids - it all has been done before.

What has not been done before is this amount of diversity in a middle-grade book, and that representation is not the focus of the main story and nobody is given grief or bullied for whatever they represent. And that is a big deal! We have characters of colour, disabled characters, foster and adoptive families, as well as LGBTQ+ representation. In one middle-grade novel. I mean, c’mon! This book has to be a bestseller at least for that!

Sadly, I had issues with the plot, especially the very ending. The conflict seemed to have been resolved as if by magic (which it was, in a way). The book has filler chapters in which the author addresses the readers directly, breaking the fourth wall (which is my least favourite device as it keeps taking me out of the story), and provides instructions to future magicians on how to do tricks. It is a lovely concept and will, undoubtedly, appeal to the younger audience, but for me, it was all more of a nuisance. Overall, it felt as if the book was targeted at the younger side of the middle-grade scale. I mean, sometimes the author even explained certain words to the listeners! It felt as if it was not a recording but a real person reading the story, which is excellent, but I am obviously too old for that kind of narration.

It is hard to rate the book without taking into account the brilliant performance by Neil. So, I am going to give the book a half-star more for the narration and representation, although the plot left more to be desired. It was a cute story, but not a very original one.

However, since “The Magic Misfits” is only the first book in the series (a quartet?), I have hopes that the plot will improve with the sequel, and I definitely plan to continue reading the series.

Performance: 5 stars
Plot: 2.5 stars
Overall: 3.5 stars

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-11-23

Loved it!

The sound effects are awesome and the last trick is my favorite.

I am so excited for the next 3 books.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Keri Linas
  • 2019-01-01

9 year-old and 7 year-old couldn't stop listening

My kids LOVED this book. Chose to sit and listen to the book , while just sitting. DOING NOTHING but sitting and listening. We were not in a car or on a plane. Just in our house!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle Farley
  • 2018-05-26

Great!

My 11 year old girl loved this book and can’t wait for the next one.

3 of 3 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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  • Kristina Jean
  • 2018-04-04

Incredible Performance

Hilarious, action-packed, and magical. Great characters, great voice, and great heart.

Truly a magical read. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lionheart
  • 2018-03-19

The way Neil reads the book is just amazing!

Most fun I had reading ever! Neil did a good job reading the book and setting the characters apart really well!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin Snow
  • 2018-06-14

Fantastic

The story and narration is great!
Only complaint is that the narration volume level is a bit up and down. It’s part of NPH’s fantastic reading, but also makes some parts hard to hear and others so loud they hurt when they come booming out of the car speakers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian L
  • 2018-02-04

Good intro to the series

Obviously aimed at kids, but still a fun, quick listen. Was it formulaic & predictable? Sure it was, but the performance was charming and the idea of teaching kids stage magic was inspired. Hopefully the next 3 books in the series continue to build and introduce more complex characters, plots and themes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Boss boy 2222
  • 2018-01-11

Wo

Awesome, I love magic so this was a cool book to read glad I found it

2 of 2 people found this review helpful