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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It’s made me more excited about going to my next magic show. Like the magicians he chronicles, Steinmeyer provides the reader with both too much and too little detail hkding actually reproduce the illusions he describes I’m not sure if this really matters, however, since I won’t be making my own elephant disappear anytime soon.

HIDING THE ELEPHANT: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

In and of itself it is not much, but the way it was presented made me wonder. 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 An enterprising book on a really interesting topic, full of lofty promises: The magician takes charge of every aspect of the story, pointing your head in certain directions at certain moments, emphasizing the importance of certain occurrences and minimizing others, hinting at every surprise, and imparting specific meanings.

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? Learn more about Amazon Giveaway.

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

My favorite part of the book was the technical description of how the tricks were performed, particularly the large, complex, Houdini-style illusions. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. 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.


By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Diagrams and recounts of his attempts to reconstruct illusions also helped stenmeyer appreciate the painstaking nature of the work involved. Yet, it can at times read like a history textbook.

A fascinating walk through the history of magic and the showmanship that went with eelephant from the late ‘s through the end of magic’s golden era in the ‘s.

They can cause an object to transpose from one place to another When reading such a book, one is struck that 19th-century audiences had no radio, TV, or movies, neither social media or computers, and because of that, there was a rabid hankering for vaudeville and live performance. Where did he learn this amazing trick and how did it work?

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 leephant into thin air. This is a wonderful history of the high points of stage magic, centering around the early s, within a framework of explaining how Houdini vanished an elephant on the stage of the Hippodrome. If you thr not seen the book yet, check it out at your local US bookstore. Why was something boring?

Apr 19, I was shocked at this new light that steeinmeyer shed on a profession I have loved, followed, and, at one time, participated-in myself He went so far as to write a book “exposing” the man he lifted his name from, Robert Houdin, which was an embarrassment. You can’t go wrong with this! The dramatic mix of science and history, with eleephant diagrams, photographs and magicians’ portraits by William Stout, provides a glimpse behind the curtain at the backstage story of magic.


The artistic crafting of magic is highlighted more than any mysticism, and rather than detracting from the wonder an audience might feel it actually enhances your appreciation for what a talented magician has to do to perfect their trade: I would elephany everything written by Jim Steinmeyer.

It also carefully traces the changes in style through the decades.

Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer(Softbound) – Book

The secrets of Morritt, Kellar, Maskelyne, Devant, and others are still safe with me; I simply didn’t understand any of them. Jun 27, Will Chin rated it liked it Shelves: A really, really outstanding book, both a history of magic from about elephznt the s, as well as a technical examination of how many of the finest illusions were performed. One thing I realized, strangely, is the incompetence of Harry Houdini.

A really interesting look at the recent history of stage magicians. 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.

It’s just enough information to inspire you to see if not try magic, and yet not enough to spoil or expose most modern routines.

The structure of the book, after the first four chapters, takes a rather messy turn. Readers will learn the secrets and life stories of the fascinating personalities behind optical marvels such as floating ghosts appearing onstage and interacting with live actors, disembodied heads, and vanishing ladies.