24 July 2012

Fooling Houdini (Alex Stone)

When Alex Stone was five, his father bought him a magic kit. Years later, while living in New York, he discovered an underground magic scene with a fascinating cast of characters. 

There, he began to learn from a wide range of weirdos - from his mentor, who holds court in the back of a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world’s greatest card cheats, who happens to be blind.

He dived into this world, training with magicians around the globe to perfect his craft. While juggling a neuroscience degree and failing to have a normal social life.

In this book, Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the MindStone unveils a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and based on a single need: to prove your worth by deceiving others.

In trying to understand how magicians manipulate our minds to create their illusions, Stone shares insights into human nature and the nature of perception, including psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime.

So, yes, there’s a lot of nerdy subject matter, but the book also explains the secrets of countless sorts of tricks, from the wonders of sleight of hand to the psychology behind the 'cold reading' that makes magicians seem like mediums. I love that stuff.

If you love that stuff – and you can get past the occasionally boring geekery – dive in. 

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