Fooling Houdini
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Fooling Houdini : Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind

3.69 (2,245 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the back rooms of New York City's age-old magic societies to cutting-edge psychology labs, three-card monte games on Canal Street to glossy Las Vegas casinos, Fooling Houdini recounts Alex Stone's quest to join the ranks of master magicians.

As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture populated by brilliant eccentrics, Stone pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around one overriding need: to prove one's worth by deceiving others.

But his journey is more than a tale of tricks, gigs, and geeks. By investing 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 132 x 201 x 25mm | 227g
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0061766224
  • 9780061766220
  • 762,984

Back cover copy

When Alex Stone was five years old, his father bought him a magic kit. Years later, in New York City, he plunged headlong into a vibrant underground magic scene populated by a fascinating cast of characters: from his gruff mentor, who holds court in a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world's greatest card cheats, who also happens to be blind. As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture, Stone pulls back the curtain on a secretive community organized around a single need: to prove one's worth by deceiving others. In trying to understand how magic fools us, Stone uncovers a wealth of insights into human nature and the nature of perception. Through his investigation of the lesser-known corners of psychology, neuroscience, history, mathematics, 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.
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Review quote

""Fooling Houdini" is a totally smart and engrossing study of one of America's most misunderstood sub-cultures, and at the same time the story of one man's quest to probe the mysteries of magic, science, and where the two meet."--John Hodgman, author of "The Areas of My Expertise"
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Rating details

2,245 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 20% (438)
4 41% (920)
3 30% (684)
2 7% (161)
1 2% (42)
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