Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

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Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2004 - Games - 362 pages
28 Reviews
Now in paperback comes Jim Steinmeyer's astonishing chronicle of half a century of illusionary innovation, backstage chicanery, and keen competition within the world of magicians. Lauded by today's finest magicians and critics, Hiding the Elephant is a cultural history of the efforts among legendary conjurers to make things materialize, levitate, and disappear. Steinmeyer unveils the secrets and life stories of the fascinating personalities behind optical marvels such as floating ghosts interacting with live actors, disembodied heads, and vanishing ladies. He demystifies Pepper's Ghost, Harry Kellar's Levitation of Princess Karnak, Charles Morritt's Disappearing Donkey, and Houdini's landmark vanishing of Jennie the elephant in 1918. The dramatic mix of science and history, with revealing diagrams, photographs and magicians' portraits by William Stout, provides a glimpse behind the curtain at the backstage story of magic.

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Review: Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

User Review  - Jake Cooper - Goodreads

A history of magic from 1850-1925, told by a modern magician. Heavy on biography, but many sharp insights on the big questions of a small subculture. When is deception in good faith? Are secrets ... Read full review

Review: Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

User Review  - Zorabike - Goodreads

It doesn't make sense to try to read this as a history of magic. It's non-linear and probably not intended to serve as one. It's not a book of magic secrets either, though you will learn some secrets ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Jim Steinmeyer" is a renowned historian of stage magic and the critically acclaimed author of "The Glorious Deception" and "Hiding the Elephant," a "Los Angeles Times" bestseller.

Teller is the silent half of the Broadway, television, and Las Vegas team Penn & Teller.

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