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1001 Stories Collection

Pure Dead Magic

1001 Pure Dead Magic
Added on 15th August 2020

Author Debi Gliori
First published 2001
Publisher Doubleday, London, UK

Most people think their family is strange is some way but this is the story of a very strange family indeed!


The eccentric Stregia-Borgia family live in the remote Scottish highlands in Strega Schloss. After Signor Stregia-Borgia leaves home after an argument with his wife, Signora Stregia-Borgia hires Mrs McLachlan to be nanny to her three children Titus, Pandora and the baby Damp. But pandemonium ensues when Titus and Pandora inadvertently shrink their baby sister Damp and send her via email over the internet. Meanwhile Signor Stregia-Borgia has been kidnapped by his wicked half-brother Don Lucifer who has sent a band of four hit-men to wipe out the rest of the family. It will take a family effort to avert disaster and save the day.

Why we chose it

The story blends a range of well-established genres in comic fashion, from magic and comedy horror to computers, IT and the mafia. Likewise the family own a variety of mythological monsters including a gryffin and a dragon but portrayed in comic fashion as though they were badly-behaved family pets.

Where it came from

Debi Gliori was already a very successful picture book author and illustrator when she decided to write the first novel in the Dead Magic series. Debi's eccentric Stregia-Borgia family bear many resemblances to the much-loved Addams Family. The stories combine magic and mayhem against a backdrop of traditional family tensions caused by bickering siblings and parental tensions.

Where it went next

The black humour of the books and the repeated life-threatening adventures bear similarities to the Series of Unfortunate Events books.

Associated stories

The other stories in the Dead Magic series include Pure Dead Wicked, Pure Dead Brilliant, Deep Trouble, Deep Water and Deep Fear.

Added on 15th August 2020

Author Debi Gliori
First published 2001
Publisher Doubleday, London, UK