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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This book, is HUGE. A little disappointed, because I expected more from this book. Get to Know Us. It’s made me more excited about going to my next magic show. Fascinating history, both of the magicians and of the climate of the era they lived in. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. I often found myself coming across familiar names whose previous contributions I couldn’t remember.

The illustrator I recognized as William Stout, who created one of my favorite dinosaur books the one with the emaciated art nouveau dinosaurs.

I do want to mention, however, that the Kindle edition’s selected typeface makes it difficult to read. In this book, you learn about the different past times of Magicians and our secrets. Starting with Houdini’s famous and infamous illusion of making an elephant disappear, Jim traces the various inventions in “optical conjuring,” from Pepper’s Ghost to Tobin’s Elpehant Cabinet and the famous jkm at Egyptian Hall.

Tough to give a star review for this. Harry Houdini was the greatest escape artist in history, yet known to his contemporaries as a terrible stage magician.

See all 73 reviews. Questions about this product. And non-magicians should like it too. Diagrams and recounts of his attempts to reconstruct illusions also helped me appreciate the painstaking nature of the work involved. A really interesting look at the recent history of stage magicians.


Mar 04, Becky rated it it was steinmeyeer Recommends it for: Nov 28, Damian rated it it was amazing. As with most secrets, the process of discovery is far more interesting than the revelation. When is deception in good faith?

Hiding the Elephant : How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

Harry Houdini, another Hungarian, was a prominent Magician included. There are different items in here that pertain to old texts and findings, to old pictures and illusions.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. In fact, I must say that with my almost-lifetime love of magic – in all of its various forms – this book certainly sheds “new light” on the subject, and steinmeyfr me a very sobering look into the “back stories” of the art. If you’re into the overall history of magic, this is a must read.

There’s no prestige in it. The descriptions of illusions and tricks, however, are clear and well-articulated throughout the book, but without giving away too much mystery.

Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of steinmeysr For example, for the chapter titled Houdini, we get elephantt pages I counted on Charles Morritt and his mirror illusions before Houdini even makes an appearance in the chapter. Thanks for linking to the article by Jon Carroll. Speaking of Houdini, I’m a big Houdini fan, and I was intrigued and amused by what a trouncing he takes in this book.

Hiding the Elephant: How Magicians Invented the Impossible and Learned to Disappear

It made for a heavy read that was hieing to follow. A must-read for every magician, no matter if you let elephants or coins disappear. I am now almost through the book a smattering of pages remain and I must say it just got better and better. The magicians’ stories intertwine as illusions evolved and theater A fascinating walk through the history of magic and the showmanship that went with it from the late ‘s through the end of magic’s golden era in the ‘s.


The Best Books of Pages – Soft Bound. 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.

In Hiding the Elephant, Steinmeyer tells the stories of some pioneers of stage magic, and follows important illusions as they are invented, refined, patented, envied, passed on, sold, stolen, and copied. How Magicians invented the impossible! This is a book about people, history, and creative thinking as much as it’s a book about magic. 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.

And thanks to Nir for recommending Randi’s book. Books of the Week.

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

I read the whole book in one day, then passed it to a friend who did the same thing. View Full Version of PW. He builds concept upon concept, telling the story of individual magicians and illusions, until at the end he can confirm hjding solution to Houdini’s disappearing elephant.

Otherwise, this is the all-encompassing book about magic that fans should read. Each had his own character and quirks.