Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft

Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft

Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft

Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft

Synopsis

From risqué cabaret performances to engrossing after-hours shop talk, Trade of the Tricks offers an unprecedented look inside the secretive subculture of modern magicians. Entering the flourishing Paris magic scene as an apprentice, Graham M. Jones gives a firsthand account of how magicians learn to perform their astonishing deceptions. He follows the day-to-day lives of some of France's most renowned performers, revealing not only how secrets are created and shared, but also how they are stolen and destroyed. In a book brimming with humor and surprise, Jones shows how today's magicians marshal creativity and passion in striving to elevate their amazing skill into high art. The book's lively cast of characters includes female and queer performers whose work is changing the face of a historically masculine genre.

Excerpt

Stroll down the Boulevard St. Germain in the chic sixth arrondissement of Paris on a summer evening, and you’re liable to encounter an extraordinary character of the crossroads. Amid the polyglot throng of barhopping students, lovers hand in hand, and tourists enjoying gelato, he sits at a card table under a streetlight’s glow, wearing a bowler hat and a puckish smile. “Come closer,” he coaxes in a creaky voice. “You can see better here than there!” As you join a circle of passersby cautiously edging in, he holds up three acorn- sized white balls and, with the wave of a magic wand, makes them disappear from his fingertips one by one. He taps three empty brass cups with the wand, making them resonate like bells, and tips them over to reveal the balls, rematerialized. Onlookers glance at each other in disbelief, laughing. Oh- là- là, someone interjects.

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