Fooling Houdini : Adventures in the World of Magic, Paperback

Fooling Houdini : Adventures in the World of Magic Paperback

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


A PhD candidate in physics at Columbia University, Alex Stone is also part of the underground magic circuit, an exclusive community whose members convene regularly in pizza parlours and coffee shops to swap tips and develop new illusions.

Determined to take his lifelong hobby to the professional level, Stone embarks on a personal quest to reach the pinnacle of this bizarre world, and become a master magician.

But he has some learning to do. In "Fooling Houdini", we journey through a strange and colourful subculture of obsessive, brilliant and dysfunctional geniuses - blind card sharps, street-hustlers and Las Vegas showmen - learning the principles and history of some of the greatest tricks ever performed.

Seeking answers to broader questions about decision making, the limits of perception, and the nature of deception, Stone helps us understand what happens as we attempt to distinguish reality from illusion, and discovers the link between magic and psychology, physics and even crime.

From back-street scams to laboratories to the Magic Olympics, "Fooling Houdini" reveals the mysterious world of magic as never before.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Conjuring & magic
  • ISBN: 9780434019663



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I got wind of this book from the CBS "Face the Nation" presentation of authors singled out for there work. Bob Scheiffer the host went on and on praising Alex Stone and how funny and entertaining his book was. It sounded interesting but I did not quite connect in the same way.Essentially the book is about how Alex a then student working on an advanced degree in physics decided to put his schooling on hold to further his first love performing magic acts and card tricks. He started out by getting 86'd at the Magic Olympics for a sub par performance. The real mystery was how he got there in the first place, never really explained. After this incident he embarks on a journey of seeking what he lacked from other accomplished and legendary performers and other experiences. Though at times the book had its moments overall I was quite disappointed with the monotony of the delivery. I am thinking amateur magicians would be more of the audience for the book and really did not see much point in it.