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Penn and Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends / Book and Trick Packet [Paperback]

Penn Jillette , Teller
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1990
Penn & Teller impart their priceless secrets for conning, scamming, and fooling your closest personal friends. And even they're suprised how many copies of this we've sold: 120,000 to-date.

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Penn and Teller's Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends / Book and Trick Packet + God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Villard Books; Reissue edition (Oct 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394753518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394753515
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 2 Oct 2008
This is a tremendously compelling book of practical jokes to play on your friends and family- ranging in tone from the slightly cruel to the downright malicious. Yesterday my son Horace handed me his copy to look through and I quite literally could not put it down (until he finally agreed to drive to the supermarket and fetch a bottle of solvent-based nail polish remover- in order to break down the industrial strength adhesive!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penn and Teller at their best! 11 Jan 2010
This book is full of lovely anecdotes, randomn thoughts and magic tricks that work. All written with a great sense of humour and a relaxed outlook on life. You want to have a good read AND make your teenage children happy? Buy this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but not without the trick packet. 3 July 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is highly recommended to all P & T fans but the trick packet is essential otherwise it's worse than useless. If I told more I would spoil it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you buy, make sure it comes with ALL accessories! 10 Mar 2003
By John J. Rinck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Please take note that this book originally came with a packet of trick accessories and another, smaller book. If you buy this book used and all you get is the main book, then many of the tricks in the book will be useless to you. Such is the case that happened with me.
Penn and Teller are great writers (and showmen, of course) and you will thoroughly enjoy their stories, but there's just something missing when you are not able to perform all the tricks they mention because you don't have all the original materials. The mind-reading trick sounds so wonderful, but without the extra book you can't perform it, for example.
Another impossible trick is the very first one where they tell you to call a phone number. I called it and was directed to the voicemail of someone within Random House (not the publishers of this book, btw). Being that the book came out in 1989 it looks like Penn and Teller have long given up that particular number.
Maybe in a dusty old bookstore, sometime in the future, I might be lucky enough to stumble across this complete package, but until then, if ever, I can only wonder at what might have been.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Humiliate people you claim to respect." - Penn Jillette 13 Nov 2002
By Jason Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
This was Penn & Teller's first book, and they made the actual book a prank in itself. Now, I won't give anything away, but the book is designed to drive anybody who reads it "the wrong way" batty. Plus, there are stories about how they did a lot of their tricks, including the infamous "cockroach trick" that made David Letterman leave his show. Plus lots of other mean stuff to pull on unsuspecting people.
Oh, and there's also the full text of the screenplay for "Penn & Teller Get Killed." Here's hoping you have good eyes.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and Annoying 8 April 2001
By Ann E. Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
I'm not that familiar with Penn & Teller. If not for my younger sister, I probably wouldn't even know who they are. I picked up a used copy of this book because I thought it would be funny. I enjoyed the descriptions of the cockroach trick, the 3 of clubs eyeballs trick, and the cutting the snake in half trick. The pictures were delightful. The cruel tricks reminded me of some I used to read about in "Children's Digest" when I was a kid. (If you, too, have friends who are too smart for them, you can still amuse yourself by imagining stupid persons you loathe falling for them.) I think I like the personality test trick the best. The short stories weren't bad. I'm torn between "The Best Magic Trick I Ever Saw" and "Invisible Thread" for my favorite. The annoying part is all those pages of red type on light grey paper with a dark grey swirl design smack in the middle. They are HARD to read. I had to keep a finger on the line so I wouldn't lose track. I'm not sure the authors expected anyone to read them because they're chock full of typos. However, if you do take the trouble, you'll read "Penn & Teller get killed", more cruel tricks on video, a strange tribute to Harry Houdini, the "Sharpening Stone", another version of "Invisible Thread", and "Penn & Teller at the Ritz". These are definitely very strange men. Happy Hunting for a copy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average 16 Mar 2006
By D. Surine - Published on Amazon.com
I picked up this book since I'm a fan of magic and especially Penn and Teller, but was rather disappointed with this book.

The book seems big because the book itself is meant to be a trick for your friends. You can leave it laying out on the coffee table without worrying about someone picking it up and learning all your secrets. That is, unless they read the whole thing. Parts of the book are printed just to fool your friends and some tricks don't work unless you know the secrets.

Many of the tricks mentioned you won't be able to do yourself and are more of Penn and Teller revealing the secret behind cutting a snake or making cockroaches appear. There are very few tricks that you yourself will be able to make use of. Included with the book (or should be) are several aids used in some of the tricks, making the book feel more like a child's toy. One item that is quite useful is a book made specifically for the trick of mind reading, or making it appear that you can read minds. Although, it only works if you can casually leave the book on a table and casually say, "Let's use this one."

In all, I found the book to not really live up to the standards of Penn and Teller and only found two or three tricks that might have actually worked on friends. If you're looking for a book full of tricks to really decieve your friends, keep looking.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great gifts for older teens. 14 April 2014
By Up your sleeve - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Boys liked the content as they enjoy magic shows. They also like the humor with satire and jokes throughout. Adults enjoyed reading these as well.
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