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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When I first started reading this book, I didn’t quite know what it was trying to accomplish, but along the way, I enjoyed the ride.

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Whether or not you are interested in magic, theater or history, you’ll still be knocked out by this book. But to his credit, Steinmeyer quickly corrects his pacing and manages to make what might be dry subject matter patent law, rights to illusions, and competition for original inventor’s credit into interesting fare. None of the revelations are gratuitous; they’re necessary to appreciate the story. Where It Has To. When he tries to connect on a personal level, he seems to be trying too hard.

My favorite part of the book was the technical description of how the tricks were performed, particularly the large, complex, Houdini-style illusions. More By and About This Author.

A really interesting look at the recent history of stage magicians. It covers Robert-Houdin, John Pepper of Pepper’s GhostHoudini, and is especially focused on Maskelyne and his collaborators, as well as several others who I hadn’t heard of before.

The Magic Cafe Forums – Jim Steinmeyer’s “Hiding the Elephant” – your opinion?

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He’s a top illusion designer, a performer, and as a historian and author he’s top notch. I wish I could convey more precisely what it is about the book that makes it worth reading, but I will have to make do with just insisting on its excellence! For this title, however, I needed to enlarge the typeface several times to ensure that it was large enough to read without glasses. I reviewed it on my site: There’s a problem loading this menu right now.


Some of the concepts involved, mirrors, light tricks, trapdoors, are now hundreds of years old but to see them in the hands of a great magician would still make your jaw drop. Want to Read saving….

The End by Rick. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Of course their magic was explained, as was every illusion in the book. But the best part is seeing how one illusion builds on another and how the personalities, rivalries, and plain ingenuity of magicians throughout the s So good I’ve read it more than once.

Also interesting is how little it has changed: Steinmeyer is a a fixture in the world of magic. See all 73 reviews. That said, the personal background to the Recommended for fans of Erik Larson’s style, amateur magicians, and anyone who preferred David Copperfield remember him?

Magic Tricks

This is a fascinating history of the “golden age of magic” from about the last third of the 19th Century to about the first third of the 20th Century. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, stinmeyer it in, give it a second life. They can cause an object to transpose from one place to another Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. We use cookies to give you steinmeyrr best possible experience. I have to echo what everyone else has said about it. I found the ingenuity of these men compelling; as well as the lengths they went to to protect their creations and steal those of others!

The book’s title, “Hiding The Elephant”, is based on the infamous illusion that Harry Houdini did on the stage at the New York Hippodrome, when he caused “Jennie The Elephant” to vanish into thin air. They can be destroyed, cut apart, or divided and then restored. If the performance is successful, it is because the storytelling has been successful. A historical introduction to the famous illusionists. Often, his diagrams are inadequate and his explanations confusing about how the tricks work.


An informative read that helped me appreciate the history of magic, and I enjoyed when Bristol was mentioned in certain parts when a magician was ostracized to the dance halls of the Steiinmeyer West of England.

You get great value for the steinmeyeer bucks you pay for it. Nov 02, Tracey rated it liked it Shelves: 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.

I was shocked at this new light that was shed on a profession I have loved, followed, and, elepuant one time, participated-in myself It closely mimmicks the slow motion phase of “Misled. Jan 21, Marie rated it really liked it Shelves: Description 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.

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. All the politics and cultural milieu of early are recounted to give context and explain why this trick took off and really hit home for audiences.

I’d seen Steinmeyer perform at the Magic Castle a while back, where he resurrected some illusions that hadn’t been performed on-stage for the better part of a century. Get to Know Us.

I feel that someone like Erik Larson would have done a better job with the material.