#1 By: Mark Frauenfelder, September 16th, 2013 23:23
#2 By: Tim, September 16th, 2013 23:32
Stone wrote an article about his experience at the magic competition for Harper's, in which he explained how some of the tricks were done. Fellow members of the magic society he was a member were incensed by his violation of the magician's code and tried to drum him out.
Oh, those guys.
#3 By: Jimh, September 16th, 2013 23:47
GOB: "Not tricks, Michael. Illusions. A trick is something a whore does for money."
(pan down to show shocked children's faces)
#4 By: Bob Dobbs, September 17th, 2013 00:46
"and a more knowledgable historian that Stone." Should be 'than.'
#5 By: SedanChair, September 17th, 2013 00:52
Jay: "Why don't you use your ointment on the burns I just gave you."
Stone: "I don't have any ointment."
Jay: "Look in your inside coat pocket."
#6 By: Boundegar, September 17th, 2013 01:33
Then tragedy struck again.
Really? Negative reviews are tragedies?
#7 By: jimh, September 17th, 2013 02:05
I liked the book, fwiw, but then I like most books on the subject of magic. I'm easy to please that way. IMHO Mr. Stone reveals very little about the sacred How It Is Done and more about the physics and psychology involved in being fooled and wanting to be fooled.
I really enjoyed the description of how thousands of hours of practice can create enough sensitivity in the fingertips to successfully cut a deck exactly in half every time. And how a perfect riffle shuffle (every other card through the deck) six times in a row can restore a deck to its original order...
These are the revelations, and more power to you if you can develop the skill to master them- mostly he astonishes the reader with what is actually possible rather than some simple explanation of a gaff or sleight.
Still, I respect Mr. Jay's contributions to the art from "Cards as Weapons" through his work with David Mamet, and eventually to Deadwood. I agree with Mr. Stone, it would be an honor to have him call me an "inept amateur"!
#8 By: The Mudshark, September 17th, 2013 08:00
So, are you saying that Ricky Jay takes Alex Stone as some conjurer of cheap tricks?
#9 By: PeaceLove, September 17th, 2013 15:34
I think Jay's main rub on the book is that Stone represents himself as someone who knows something about magic...then continually misrepresents the essence of the art in small and large ways. That kind of cluelessness is expected from journalists, who will jump into the magic world for a week then write an article about it. But for someone who claims to have studied with experts, it's pretty inexcusable.
#10 By: Tim Quinn, September 17th, 2013 18:21
Our culture promoting shallow fools? I am shocked.
#11 By: jimh, September 17th, 2013 20:29
Admittedly his writing is a little uneven in places, but I didn't find him clueless, or think he "misrepresented the art". Care to elaborate on those statements? I assume you've read the book when you make such sweeping criticisms; I have.
#12 By: Gregg Pathiakis, September 20th, 2013 17:42
I have close to no knowledge of the subject of magic so I can't really take into account any inaccuracies in the book, but I read it and enjoyed it. I didn't read it expecting to become an expert on the subject, just read a good book.Unless he completely screwed up major things, I'd still recommend the book. Now I also don't fault Ricky Jay in his review. He is obviously more knowledgeable on the subject and reads it from a different POV. But I still think the review was a little over-the-top.
#13 By: Mark Frauenfelder, September 21st, 2013 23:23
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