Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind
by Alex Stone
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Pub Date 19 Jun 2012 | Archive Date 05 Oct 2012
Doubleday Canada, Bond Street Books
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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, fueld 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.
ALEX STONE has written for Harper's, Discover, Science and other magazines. He graduated from Harvard University and has a Masters degree in physics from Columbia University. He grew up in Wisconsin, Texas, and Spain. He lives in New York City.
Praise for Fooling Houdini:
"An eye-opening, irresistible journey into the world of magic. Stone has written a masterful story that is bursting with energy, inventiveness, and a sense of wonder on every page. I don't even like magic, but I couldn't put Fooling Houdini down!" -Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics
"An enthralling journey into the inner world of magic. Alex Stone writes with a winning voice that you'll want to follow anywhere." -Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein
"Fooling Houdini is a totally smart and engrossing
study of one of America's most misunderstood sub-cultures." -John Hodgman, author of That Is All
"What I loved most about Fooling Houdini is the world it takes us into: these huddled cliques of obsessed magicians reinventing their art. . . . This book makes you want to do magic tricks, and convinces you just how hard it is to do them well." -Ira Glass, host of This American Life
"Alex Stone's Fooling Houdini is a delight. . . . He writes with wit and scientific sharpness and grand humor. He immerses us in a fascinating world few have ever entered." -Buzz Bissinger, author Friday Night Lights