Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: Before reading this
book, I thought magic was a little inane. The magicians of my
memory wore capes and makeup. They pulled doves from their hats
and deployed a lot of smoke. But in Fooling Houdini, Alex Stone
reveals a world far deeper and fascinating than I ever imagined.
After failing at the Magic Olympics in Stockholm, Stone gets
serious about the art of illusion. He attends magic schools and
seeks out one of the best "card mechanics" in the world. Along
the way, he learns how criminal empires were built on age-old
magic scams. He studies the art of mind-reading. And he explains
how magicians exploit cognitive blind spots to make the
impossible happen in public. He pursues every dark nook of the
magic world in pursuit of the ultimate goal – a routine so
mindboggling that it would fool other master magicians. Does he
succeed? I'd tell you the answer, but that would ruin the magic.