How Magi­cians Think: Mis­di­rec­tion, Decep­tion, and Why Mag­ic Matters

  • From the Publisher
September 1, 2020

There’s a say­ing: The door to mag­ic is closed, but it’s not locked. In How Magi­cians Think, pro­fes­sion­al magi­cian and best­selling author Joshua Jay not only opens that door, he brings us inside and turns on the light, reveal­ing the artistry, inside his­to­ry, and fas­ci­nat­ing tra­di­tions of a sub­ject long shroud­ed in mys­tery. But above all, he reveals the mind­set behind the mag­ic – what it’s like to prac­tice an art that so many love yet so few understand.

This is not a how-to book, nor a how-do-they-do-it expose. Writ­ten as a series of short, live­ly essays, How Magi­cians Think describes the mak­ing of illu­sions, the psy­chol­o­gy behind them, and the char­ac­ters who cre­ate them. He writes about how tech­nol­o­gy influ­ences the world of mag­ic, the aes­thet­ics of per­for­mance, his con­tem­po­raries, includ­ing David Cop­per­field, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine, and how magi­cians hone their craft (Jay spends count­less hours in absolute dark­ness to per­fect his sleights of hand). And answers ques­tions like, Can a mag­ic trick be too good? And how do you saw a per­son in half? (It depends).

Com­pelling, thought­ful, and writ­ten by an insid­er, How Magi­cians Think is a rare excur­sion into a tru­ly secret world.

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