Fooling Houdini Magicians, Mentalists PDF

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Fooling Houdini Magicians, Mentalists PDF

Fooling Houdini Magicians, Mentalists

Book 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.

Book Review:

How much fun is this? Self-effacing even when he boasts about his magic skills, which he developed with endless practice, Alex Stone tells enough about the techniques of magicians for us to get it without revealing too many secrets (which he has done elsewhere, he says) or getting too technical. He uses the story of his years of evolution as a magic technician and entertainer to shed light on what science has learned about attention, memory, why we love to be fooled and why it is so easy. He makes the research of neurobiologists as fascinating as the work of street scam artists, explaining in the process why drivers using cell phones are as impaired as if they were drunk. His trip down a rabbit hole from physics Ph.D. candidate to professional magician is the unifying theme that carries the book along through many wonderful side trips.Amazon Reader

Fooling Houdini Magicians, Mentalists PDF

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About the Author:

Alex Stone has written for The New York Times, Harper’s, Discover, and The Wall Street Journal. He graduated from Harvard University and has a master’s degree in physics from Columbia University. He grew up in Wisconsin, Texas, and Spain. He currently lives in New York City. 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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