Abracadabra! Secret Methods Magicians and Others Use to Deceive Their Audience

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Magicians use more than just mirrors, string, and sleight of hand to deceive their audience. Those who are masters at this trade have developed an arsenal of techniques to manipulate people. Every action and utterance on stage and off is precisely planned to achieve a specific effect.

Abracadabra! is an insider's look at what goes on at a magic show, behind-the-scenes, and in the mind of the magician. Nathaniel Schiffman explains the principles of deception, exposing those innocent-seeming motions that conceal vital actions from onlookers; how the conjurer uses misdirection of space and time to mislead the audience; how silly and simple optical illusions can fool us, and what to look for during a magic show.

Also explored in detail is the world of off-stage magic. Some "magicians" use various techniques in life to deceive and influence you, yet these magicians don't boast of their magic talent, because they are advertisers, politicians, army commanders, spies, con artists, computer programmers, movie directors, faith healers, psychics, and others. These "magicians" work to make you buy their product, believe in their cause, and influence your thinking from the time you get up in the morning, until you go to bed at night.

This is not a "how to" book for aspiring magicians, but a layperson's guide to methods used to mislead or fool you. Lighthearted and informal, Abracadabra! will fascinate anyone interested in knowing how one person can control many. Included are hands-on experiments, magic tricks, and reader participation segments. You'll soon see that magicians don't just manipulate playing cards and animals; they manipulate you.

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Editorial Reviews

Scientific American
"...an unusually captivating book of the strange...a wide-ranging analysis of the principle of illusion, and it is a hard book to lay down."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591022480
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 2/25/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 441
  • Sales rank: 827,094
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nathaniel Schiffman (East Brunswick, NJ) is a writer and magic enthusiast whose longstanding fascination with magic has compelled him to explore the nature of illusion by devouring magic literature, attending countless performances, and performing tricks.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2002

    Not for a newbie

    If you are looking for a good starters book, Try becker's 101 Greatest Magic Secrets

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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