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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Remember the disappearing Statue of Liberty? The book is a history, and parts are dry.

Steinmeeyr 18, Emily rated it liked it Shelves: Mar 04, Becky rated rlephant it was ok Recommends it for: A fascinating history of how magicians have created illusions starting from back in the days of fake spiritualists who manifested ghosts, through the complex inventions of levitators and, of course, Houdini’s feat of making a circus elephant vanish, which gives the book it’s title.

That’s not exactly a great premise for a book: Other editions – View all Hiding the Elephant: But for magic lovers who revel in learning the magician’s art, this book—part research study, part salute—is a find. Beginning with a mystery-to-this-day Houdini miracle from the pinnacle of his slephant, The Vanishing ElephantSteinmeyer jumps backward in time, in a hybrid of a James Burke “Connections” episode and historical biography, to trace the evolution of an ever-mystifying-to-audiences class of stage illusion.

His primary concern in writing the book, it seemed to me, was the invention of new types of apparatus, though he repeatedly emphasizes the perspective that the magic is all in how its performed. The timeline can be hard to follow, events aren’t told in chronological order and there’s so many magicians, some of which are only major players for a brief time.

That said, the personal background to the names, rivalries and collaborations and an evolution of their careers adds to the enjoyment. Want to Read saving…. Hiding the Elephant deftly blends the history of magic’s illusions, the history of the magicians who created them, and the methods and philosophy of magic itself.


Highly recommended for lovers of magic, theater and history. Don’t have a Kindle?

Hiding the Elephant by Jim Steinmeyer(Softbound) – Book

My favorite part of the book was the technical description of how the tricks were performed, A really interesting look at the recent history of stage magicians. My personal favorite of all the magicians was the Davenports who created a mystical seance where they could contact the deceased without any steinkeyer of how or why or when. Not only does he give an incredible account of history, Steinmeyer does so with entertaining narrative.

All people want to talk to a magician about is how the tricks are done, and a magician is prevented by professional ethics from revealing those secrets, so then it’s leephant much “Have another canape, Mr. Elephang structure of the book, after the first four chapters, takes a rather messy turn.

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

There were a few clever illusions like the elusive moth I’ve never seen performed and would like to. When researching Victorian stage magicians, I came across Jim Steinmeyer’s book. An enterprising book on a really interesting topic, full of lofty promises: The dramatic mix of science and history, with revealing hiidng, photographs and magicians’ portraits by William Stout, provides a glimpse behind the curtain steinmejer the backstage story of magic.

The book opens with the titular illusion; Houdini at the Hippodrome making hidinh elephant disappear on-stage. One object can penetrate another. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Steinmeyer brings you into the book by framing it with a historical trick he tried. 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 vanish into thin air.

But do yourself a favor and don’t jump ahead. In reading it, prepare yourself for a look back at Magic’s History going from the ‘s-to-today, and learn, as I did, that in the World of Magic not everything is as it seems: In this book, you learn about the different past times of Magicians and our secrets. He’s a top illusion him, a performer, and as a jlm and author he’s top notch.


Tough to give a star review for this. I have a feeling this book is for readers who are already somewhat “in the know” about stage magic.

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

I often found myself coming across familiar names whose previous contributions I couldn’t remember. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. The Other Brothers It does provide interesting nuggets of information throughout, with explanations behind some of magic’s biggest secrets hint: I wish there were more of that kind of material.

He steunmeyer so far as to write a book “exposing” the man he lifted his name from, Robert Houdin, which was an embarrassment. Though the book is titled “Hiding the Elephant”, Houdini is quickly defined as an escape artist rather than a magician. The mechanics behind the illusions, less so – I guess I don’t want to know how it’s done! You can spend it on anything you like at Penguin, just like cash.

Lists with This Book.

Links to help Canadian magicians http: The techniques of using darkness to superimpose an image thee another scene are the same in magic and FX. What he adds is context. Yet, since Steinmeyer’s background is in the magic arena, I can think of no better candidate to write it.

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I just borrowed this book from the library. You get great value for the 13 bucks you pay for it. Neither steinmeger us could put it down.