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When Alex Stone was five years old, his father bought him a magic kit—a gift that would spark a lifelong love. Years later, while living in New York City, he discovered a vibrant underground magic scene exploding with creativity and innovation and populated by a fascinating cast of characters: from his gruff mentor, who holds court in the back of a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world's greatest card cheats, who also happens to be blind. Captivated, he plunged headlong into this mysterious world, eventually competing at the Magic Olympics and training with great magicians around the globe to perfect his craft.

From the back rooms of New York City's century-old magic societies to cutting-edge psychology labs; three-card monte on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos; Fooling Houdini recounts Stone's quest to join the ranks of master magicians. As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture, Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around a single overriding need: to prove one's worth by deceiving others.

But his journey is more than a tale of tricks, gigs, and geeks. In trying to understand how expert magicians manipulate our minds to create their astonishing illusions, Stone uncovers a wealth of insight into human nature and the nature of perception. Every turn leads to questions about how the mind perceives the world and processes everyday experiences. By investigating some of the lesser-known corners of psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime, all through the lens of trickery and illusion, Fooling Houdini arrives at a host of startling revelations about how the mind works—and why, sometimes, it doesn't.

Topics: Magic, Magicians, Mathematics, Mentors, Exciting, New York City, Las Vegas, and Creative Nonfiction

Published: HarperCollins on Jun 19, 2012
ISBN: 9780062098016
List price: $9.99
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I got wind of this book from the CBS "Face the Nation" presentation of authors singled out for there work. Bob Scheiffer the host went on and on praising Alex Stone and how funny and entertaining his book was. It sounded interesting but I did not quite connect in the same way.Essentially the book is about how Alex a then student working on an advanced degree in physics decided to put his schooling on hold to further his first love performing magic acts and card tricks. He started out by getting 86'd at the Magic Olympics for a sub par performance. The real mystery was how he got there in the first place, never really explained. After this incident he embarks on a journey of seeking what he lacked from other accomplished and legendary performers and other experiences. Though at times the book had its moments overall I was quite disappointed with the monotony of the delivery. I am thinking amateur magicians would be more of the audience for the book and really did not see much point in it.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I think having a general interest in magic would help a person appreciate this book. It was well written and the cast of characters was interesting. I also liked how the author explains some of the common scams such as 3 cards monte and fortune tellers. It is a worthwhile read but I wouldn't go out of my way to fit it into a busy schedule. More like something to read if you are trapped in an airport and have a sudden urge to know more about the magic olympics (or what it is like to play basketball against a team full of dwarfs).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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I got wind of this book from the CBS "Face the Nation" presentation of authors singled out for there work. Bob Scheiffer the host went on and on praising Alex Stone and how funny and entertaining his book was. It sounded interesting but I did not quite connect in the same way.Essentially the book is about how Alex a then student working on an advanced degree in physics decided to put his schooling on hold to further his first love performing magic acts and card tricks. He started out by getting 86'd at the Magic Olympics for a sub par performance. The real mystery was how he got there in the first place, never really explained. After this incident he embarks on a journey of seeking what he lacked from other accomplished and legendary performers and other experiences. Though at times the book had its moments overall I was quite disappointed with the monotony of the delivery. I am thinking amateur magicians would be more of the audience for the book and really did not see much point in it.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I think having a general interest in magic would help a person appreciate this book. It was well written and the cast of characters was interesting. I also liked how the author explains some of the common scams such as 3 cards monte and fortune tellers. It is a worthwhile read but I wouldn't go out of my way to fit it into a busy schedule. More like something to read if you are trapped in an airport and have a sudden urge to know more about the magic olympics (or what it is like to play basketball against a team full of dwarfs).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
http://www.womensbizalliance.org/ Replica Patek Philippe Watches online store offers ladies Fake Patek Philippe Watches and Patek Philippe Watches Replica with the best quality and lowest prices!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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