Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer
How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Jim Steinmeyer

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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.
 
Published September 15, 2004 by Da Capo Press. 392 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hiding the Elephant

Kirkus Reviews

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Each works with mirrors, and Steinmeyer explains how (though rope tricks remain difficult to grasp after what appears—remember, never trust appearances in the company of magicians—a very clear explanation).

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Publishers Weekly

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Unlike political chicanery, which Steinmeyer dubs dishonest trickery, magic is a kind of pure trickery.

Sep 22 2003 | Read Full Review of Hiding the Elephant: How Magi...

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