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Magic in Theory: An Introduction to the Theoretical and Psychological Elements of Conjuring [Paperback]

Peter Lamont , Professor Richard Wiseman
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

27 April 2005
A useful manual for any magician or curious spectator who wonders why the tricks seem so real, this guide examines the psychological aspects of a magician's work. Exploring the ways in which human psychology plays into the methods of conjuring rather than focusing on the individual tricks alone, this explanation of the general principles of magic includes chapters on the use of misdirection, sleight of hand, and reconstruction, provides a better understanding of this ancient art, and offers a section on psychics that warns of their deceptive magic skills.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hertfordshire Press (27 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902806506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902806501
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 646,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


""Magic in Theory" is charmingly clear, admirably erudite and highly readable. The chapters are gently authoritative without being numbingly complex, and sober while avoiding 'academic' sterility. Highly recommended." --"Fortean Times"

About the Author

Peter Lamont is a research fellow at the Koestler Parapsychology unit at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of "The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick." Richard Wiseman heads the psychology research unit at the University of Hertfordshire. He is the author of "The Luck Factor."

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly useless 29 April 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book in a bibliography of a recent thriller that had some elements of magic within it and ordered this to chase up the theme and learn more about it. Perhaps I should have thought more about it but from the title you could be forgiven for thinking it would be interesting. The fact is its not. The talk about misdirection is really just common sense things and makes you feel that the standard of writing is really quite amateurish. If you're interested in pursuing magic you won't find more than a couple of well described tricks which would be unimpressive even if it all went to plan. It says most books on magical theory are for magicians... ok... why would someone not interested on the insider's perspective want such a book? Well they wouldn't.

Steer clear of this book. If you want to learn magic there are many many better books. If you want to learn the psychology, ideas about misdirection, then it might be best to pick that up from the other books as you go along. Don't waste your money on this.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mostly very academic and rarely interesting 30 Dec 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a very academic attempt at writing a framework for describing magic. I doubt it will ever be used as it isn't intuitive or very rich in terminology. The book might do well in some circles but among magicians I think it will fail. The thing that gives it two stars is its very concise and elegant description of misdirection, that chapter I will read over and over again... thinking about it I might as well tear those pages out and throw away the rest of the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Magic in Theory 2 Jun 2008
By Lawrence R. Oleary - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book for beginners and intermediate performers who would like to understand and learn the different styles, psychological and mind set of the magic and mentalism profession. The book must be read from cover to cover as chapters build on each others knowledge. Great knowledge to be had.
Lawrence O'Leary
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional book 8 Mar 2007
By Giacomo De Carlo - Published on
This exceptional book studies the theoretical and above all psychological elements of conjuring, in an analytical way, expecially considering the Misdirection and the Reconstruction. It is very very interesting and you can learn much from it. I am a magician so I know what I say.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars competent but not inspiring, a book on magic (conjuring) theory 8 Nov 2011
By V. M. Kenkre - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book, Magic in Theory by Lamont and Wiseman, is a competent book but is not inspiring. There are good discussions on most topics related to the subject matter but the style is dry and clinical. Strong Magic by Ortiz is better. The books by Tamariz are much better and the very recent book by Schneider, titled "Theory and Practice of Magic Deception" is head over shoulders superior. You might want to consult my review of the latter book.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic in Theory - Review by Clark May 1 Oct 2005
By Clark B. May - Published on
I recently purchased Magic in Theory which is a college level text on the theoretical and psychological elements of performing as a Magician.

For an intermediate or advanced level Magician, this book tends to be quite helpful and causes one to think toward making the performance of Magic more believable and more entertaining for the audience.

The paperback version of the book is quite reasonable priced but,unfortunately, the hardbound version is somewhat overpriced.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good basic intro 11 May 2009
By John W. Cassell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good basic introduction for the new magician. I wish I had found something like this 40 years ago! While it may seem a bit basic for the experienced performer, the re-aquaintance with the basics and the concise format make it a good, thought-provoking read. And a good addition to the basic library, magician or not!
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