Can’t Wait for … How Magicians Think by Joshua Jay

I love magic. Pulling rabbits out of hats. Vanishing assistants. Finding cards impossibly loaded into decks. When I was a kid, these were the tricks that captured my attention and imagination. Now as an adult, it’s all still fascinating to watch, but I’m also interested in what goes on behind the scenes. Not necessarily how a trick works, but why. How is it, after all these years and with all the secrets I now know, that a good trick keeps me completely enraptured? Well, good news! There’s a new book coming out next month that will pull back the curtain on this profession just a bit. I can’t wait.

From the publisher:

The door to magic is closed, but it’s not locked.

And now Joshua Jay, one of the world’s most accomplished magicians, not only opens that door but brings us inside to reveal the artistry and obsessiveness, esoteric history, and long-whispered-about traditions of a subject shrouded in mystery.
And he goes one step further: Joshua Jay brings us right into the mind of a magician—how they develop their other worldly skills, conjure up illusions, and leave the rest of us slack jawed with delight time after time. Along the way, Jay reveals another kind of secret, one all readers will find meaningful even if they never aspire to perform sleight of hand: What does it take to follow your heart and achieve excellence?

In 52 short, compulsively readable essays, Jay describes how he does it, whether it’s through the making of illusions, the psychology behind them, or the way technology influences the world of magic. He considers the aesthetics of performance, discusses contemporary masters, including David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, and David Blaine, and details how magicians hone their craft. And answers questions like: Can a magic trick be too good? How do you saw a person in half? Is there real magic in the universe? The answers, like so much in magic and life, depend on you.

Title: How Magicians Think
Author: Joshua Jay
Publisher: Workmans Publishing Company
Expected Publication: September 21, 2021
Classification: Entertainment, Nonfiction

Jay’s Website | Goodreads

Note: Can’t Wait Wednesday is a feature hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, so be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants. Fair warning: don’t be surprised if you come away with an expanded TBR pile.

3 responses to “Can’t Wait for … How Magicians Think by Joshua Jay”

  1. It would be interesting to know how some tricks work; they look so real. 🙂


    1. When I was a kid, I was always looking to find out just how magicians did what they did. And while this book doesn’t divulge anything major, it was really cool to see just how a magician approaches the craft. Very cool!


  2. […] Can’t Wait for … How Magicians Think by Joshua Jay — Plucked Stacks […]


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