Jeff Raymond's Reviews > Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind

Fooling Houdini by Alex  Stone
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Jun 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, goodreads-first-reads-wins, read-nonfiction, read-history, read-science, read-social-psych
Read from June 23 to 26, 2012

I am a big fan of magic. I know it's all fake, and so much of it is psychological, but I love the process just as much as the execution. When I noticed that Alex Stone, who writes for Discover, was doing a book on magic, I dove right in.

The cool thing about this is that it's part-memoir, as Stone is an amateur magician who's competed in competitions and is very in touch with the national magic scene. Thus, a lot of the book has to do with the inner workings of the various magic groups in the US and some of the standards and practices of magicians in general - it goes much further than the "magician's code."

The other cool thing is the history and psychology of magic that happens throughout the book. The title of the book refers to attempts to fool Harry Houdini, which only happened once. The book then follows a lot of different concepts about magic, the history behind various tricks and illusions, and the like.

The book was a pleasant, informative surprise. I went in thinking I knew a good amount about magic, and this really opened my eyes further. Definitely a great read.
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