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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Some he explains, some he leaves a mystery. If you’re interested in magic, I can’t recommend it enough. And the real star trick seems to be Pepper’s Ghost, which brings illusion into more mainstream work. elpehant

Magic Tricks

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I thought this book was ambitious in scope, but ultimately failed to deliver. Adventures in Elephantt digital design. I just borrowed this book from the library. He is literally the man behind the magicians having invented impossibilities for four Doug Henning television specials, six touring shows, two Henning Broadway shows, and numerous television and Las Vegas appearances.

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

It also made me want to have another go at trying a few tricks, just to work on my showmanship of course. I knew he was regarded as a poor stage magician, but the extent to which he is reviled in this book was very interesting indeed. Additionally, Steinmeyer tracks the evolution of the large box tricks, from the original use of mirrors circato boxes using mirrors that evolved all the way up to Houdini’s elephant, explaining the phrase, “It’s all done with mirrors”–because in those days, it was!


The secrets of Morritt, Kellar, Maskelyne, Devant, and others are still safe with me; I simply didn’t understand any of them. Lent to me by my Hungarian finder of wonders Andras.

Hiding the Elephant : Jim Steinmeyer :

Maybe he could have used a ghostwriter, or at least an editor, to smooth things out a bit. In the new millennium, do people even expect to understand how hidng work? Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands.

Pages – Soft Bound. Figures such as Robert-Houdin, the Davenports, the Maskelynes, Devant, Kellar, Thurston and Houdini carefully built larger-than-life personas, but Steinmeyer humanizes them with rlephant stories of happy accidents, insecurities, rivalries, alliances, betrayals and successions. I enjoyed reading about one of my idols from this very different point of view.

It all led to the final chapter when he explained his discovery of an illusion of a disappearing donkey that no one knew the secret to. This book covers the development of stage magic, primarily in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and is particularly focused on the dominant magicians of the time. The book is a quick read. 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.

Steinmeyer begins to jump around chronologically, bringing names into the narrative as and when he pleased. Whether or not you are interested in magic, theater or history, you’ll still be knocked out by this book. So you’re left thinking how neat, clever and complicated it all This is a delve into the history of magic shows and showmen in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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I enjoyed how the author himself was a person who invented magic tricks for others to use. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience.

Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer(Softbound) – Book

Steinmeyer’s passion for stage magic is earnest and his research is thorough, but his personal anecdotes tend to be stilted and strained. Neither of us could put it down. A history of magic fromtold by a modern magician.

Hiding the Elephant deftly blends the history of magic’s illusions, the history of the sheinmeyer who created them, and the methods and philosophy of magic itself. Do you want to respond to this review?

To ask other readers questions about Hiding the Elephantplease sign up. Other editions – View all Hiding the Elephant: Along the way, he gets lost in the weeds of explaining the tricks.

stienmeyer His primary concern in writing the book, it seemed to me, was the invention of new types of apparatus, though he repeatedly emphasizes the perspective that the magic is all in how its performed. One thing I realized, strangely, is the incompetence of Harry Houdini. Dec 9, There’s some drawing back of the curtains; including the titular trick however, learning how it’s done makes me appreciate the artistry of the performances even more.

In fact, there are times in the reading when you get the sense there will be a quiz of names at the end.