There’s a saying: The door to magic is closed, but it’s not locked. In How Magicians Think, professional magician and bestselling author Joshua Jay not only opens that door, he brings us inside and turns on the light, revealing the artistry and obsessiveness, the inside history, and the fascinating traditions of a subject long shrouded in mystery. But above all, he reveals the mindset behind the magic—how magicians become who they are, develop their skills, conjure their illusions, and delight the rest of us with an art form that defines itself by how well it evokes wonder.
This is not a how-to book, nor a how-do-they-do-it exposé—Jay reveals what it’s like to practice an art that so many love yet so few understand, along with what it is about magic that fascinates us so much. Written as a series of short, lively essays that answer far-ranging questions, How Magicians Think describes the making of illusions, the psychology behind them, and the characters who create them. He writes about how technology influences the world of magic; the aesthetics of performance; his contemporaries, including David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine, through a magician’s-eye view; and how magicians hone their craft (Jay spends countless hours in absolute darkness to perfect his sleights of hand). And he answers questions like, Can a magic trick be too good? How did Houdini really die? What happens if a magician reveals a secret? Do magicians ever get fooled? (Yup!) And how do you saw a person in half? (It depends . . . )
Compelling, thoughtful, and written by an insider, How Magicians Think is a rare excursion into a truly secret world.