by Alex Stone
Seven years ago, trying to decide between two book topics, I was spending half my time interviewing magicians and going to magic shows and the other half interviewing shoplifters and going to shoplifting-addiction groups. But then came a moment when I began to wonder whether magic was a good subject for me: I was sitting with a magician—white and middle-aged, like so many are—in a coffee shop on the Upper East Side. When I asked how he had done a card trick in a show I had seen the previous night, he glared at me for a long moment. I thought he was going to leap across the table and cut my heart out with a knife. Shoplifting it was!
Which is why I was so excited to learn about Alex Stone’s Fooling Houdini (the title refers to Dai Vernon’s doing a trick that the legendary escape artist could not figure out).
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