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Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mindby Alex Stone
Synopses & Reviews
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.
From the back rooms of New York Citys 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 Stones 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 ones 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 doesnt.
About the Author
Alex Stone has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Discover, Harper's, and The New Republic. He lives in New York City.
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