Hiding the Elephant has ratings and 82 reviews. Now in paperback comes Jim Steinmeyer’s astonishing chronicle of half a century of illusionary. Jim Steinmeyer Hiding the Elephant is the masterwork of a man who has dedicated his life to magic, who knows the tricks inside out, and still. HIDING THE ELEPHANT: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear. Jim Steinmeyer, Author. Carroll & Graf $

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The Other Brothers Jim Steinmeyer is an ideally qualified author: In fact, there are few secrets that they possess that are beyond the capacity of a high-school science class, little technology more complex than a rubber band, a square of mirrored glass, or a length of thread.

A decent, if somewhat tangled, history of mostly American and English magicians of the later s and earlier s.

Diagrams and recounts elephantt his attempts to reconstruct illusions also helped me appreciate the painstaking nature of the work involved. Interesting look at early 20th century magic.

jom For example, for the chapter titled Houdini, we get eight pages I counted on Charles Morritt and his mirror illusions before Houdini even makes an app This dense book about the Golden Age of magic is no doubt the result of author Jim Steinmeyer’s years exhaustive research.

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It turns out that a lot of tricks are all done with mirrors. Do you want to respond to this review? Harry Houdini, another Hungarian, was a prominent Magician included. Steinmeyer leaves that mystery hanging in the reader’s mind while he jumps back in time to introduce some of the first vanishing tricks. This is a history of stage magic from the ‘s through about World War II. Although the book does reveal some of the workings of some older illusions, there are no “Masked Magician” or William Poundstone style exposures for exposure’s sake here.


Mar 04, Becky rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Visit our Beautiful Books page and find lovely books for kids, photography lovers and more.

A really interesting look at the recent history of stage magicians. Once I started reading the book, I couldn’t stop until I had devoured the whole thing.

Read this if you have even the slightest bit of steunmeyer in magic! Would you like to tell us about a lower price? David Todd Inner circle Posts.

Magic Tricks

Amazon Renewed Refurbished products with a warranty. It’s often hard to picture some of the written descriptions, and the occasional diagrams are much appreciated. It is clear that Steinmeyer is not the greatest non-fiction writer out there. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. But the best part is seeing how one illusion builds on another and how the personalities, rivalries, and plain ingenuity of magicians throughout the s and s drove to create something so unique and I am also reading this at the moment — actually I’m being paid to do so by a Swedish publishing company who are considering translating it.

Read more Read less. Dec 9, I enjoyed reading about one of my idols from this very different point of view.

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He connects how the profession grew, the competition behind finding the best spectacle to gain an audience, and how the history helped push the use of technology and stage presence. Speaking of “rivalry”, this is the part of the book that I hadn’t fully known about.

Are secrets entertaining in themselves? None of the revelations are gratuitous; they’re necessary to appreciate the story. It’s both well researched and it is pleasant that the author does have steinmeyef obviously genuine passion for the subject matter. I often found myself coming across familiar names whose previous contributions I couldn’t remember.


The author, Jim Steinmeyer, is a builder of magic cabinets and the like.

If you want to keep your illusions, go to Las Vegas. You learn plenty of magic secrets in this book. Don’t have a Kindle? May 10, On Stage, OR, Off. One of the more interesting passages outlines that there are basically only ten things that magicians do: The reason for this becomes clear later, but a reader would have been better served by just cutting to the chase.

It also made me want to have another go at trying a few tricks, just to work on my showmanship of course. There is amazing production value. Open Preview See a Problem? Though the book is titled “Hiding the Elephant”, Houdini is quickly defined as an escape artist rather than a magician.

Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer(Softbound) – Book

In addition to those tricks, Steinmeyer introduces and explores various vanishing tricks, the famous Pepper’s Ghost illusion, spiritualist cabinets, automatons, levitations, the famed sawing-a-woman-in-half, along with a whole host of other popular stage tricks.

Magicians advertise deceit, then perform it. In reading it, prepare yourself for a look back at Magic’s History going from the ‘s-to-today, and learn, as I did, that in the World of Magic not everything is as it seems: Neither of us could put it down.

This is a wonderful history of the high points of stage magic, centering around the early s, within a framework of explaining how Houdini vanished an elephant on the stage of the Hippodrome. And thanks to Nir for recommending Randi’s book.