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6 Reviews
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stranger than fiction
This is a genuinely weird and wonderful story. The birth of a hoax, the rise of a legend, and a load of bizarre characters and fascinating snippets of history. Incredibly clear writing and some wicked dry humour. Brilliant!
Published on 21 Jan 2004 by lordofrings4

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably made a great essay......
I was given this book by a friend and was instantly sold on the title alone. The whole premise seemed entertaining, whimsical, potentially very interesting and something I wanted to know more about. In fact, though initially it was all of these things, I only finished it with an effort, because I am too stubborn to give up on a book part-way through.

The first...
Published on 22 Dec 2010 by J. A. Clement


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stranger than fiction, 21 Jan 2004
This is a genuinely weird and wonderful story. The birth of a hoax, the rise of a legend, and a load of bizarre characters and fascinating snippets of history. Incredibly clear writing and some wicked dry humour. Brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding!, 14 Aug 2006
By 
S. Justice "themadscotsmanuk" (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Rise Of The Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History (Paperback)
Simply put this is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time! Expertly written in a style which draws the reader into both the story and establishes a form of rapport with the author. The content is extremely factual and covers the fascinating origins and history of this legendary hoax, it should appeal to most readers, even those who are not normally a fan of books with a historical content. I would happily recommend this book to anyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderfully quirky and eccentric but surprisingly scholarly read, 29 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Rise Of The Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History (Paperback)
This was an "other people who bought this also bought this" buy - frequently a late night route to disappointment - I was delighted to find an absorbing and frequently hilarious read. The author knows his stuff and has a scholarly but light style which draws the reader in; the quirky, hilarious illustrations add to the eccentricity of the script.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, 21 Mar 2011
By 
Pattycake (Manchester U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rise Of The Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History (Paperback)
This is a very interesting little book. It's very well researched, but written in a humorous, easy to read way. The conclusion of the research is very surprising, to me anyway, but as the word hoax is in the title, this gives the game away some what. Read and enjoy.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Probably made a great essay......, 22 Dec 2010
This review is from: The Rise Of The Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History (Paperback)
I was given this book by a friend and was instantly sold on the title alone. The whole premise seemed entertaining, whimsical, potentially very interesting and something I wanted to know more about. In fact, though initially it was all of these things, I only finished it with an effort, because I am too stubborn to give up on a book part-way through.

The first half is really interesting, and tells how the mythos of the Indian Rope Trick arose, even showing pictures and diagrams of the variants along the way. They writing is cheekily humorous and entertaining, and a pleasure to read. However, somewhere between half and two thirds of the way through, the story runs out of substance and becomes a litany of examples of the rope trick was thought to exist and didn't. The problem is that we already know that, and to recount more times when it did not exist and more people who said it did or were reported to say it did or thought it did and were wrong really doesn't add to the book.

(That said, if Peter Lamont can find a reasonably harsh editor for his next book, his writing style is entertaining enough that I'd definitely have a look, at least.)

It may be harsh, but it reads to me as if the author originally wrote this as an essay or thesis - and it would have been an excellently written and interesting essay or thesis - and then when he decided to publish it, realised that it wasn't long enough and added a few thousand words' padding.

So would I suggest you buy it? Hmmm. Maybe, if it was cheap. Basically, the first bit is definitely worth the reading; but once it starts to get a bit same-ish, you might as well put it down because once you've had the investigation and the main argument, you've pretty much had the meat off the bones.
JAC.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not enough content for a book, maybe a magazine article., 29 April 2012
This review is from: The Rise Of The Indian Rope Trick: How a Spectacular Hoax Became History (Paperback)
The title and the blurb makes it sound fascinating, unfortunately it doesn't deliver.
The author is (presumably) worried about offending his friends in the Magic Circle so he tells us that magicians over the years have discovered how Indian magicians (or Jugglers as they were called back then) tricked their audience. Unfortunately he doesn't deign to tell us. So, at the end of the book I knew no more about conjuring than I did at the beginning.
If you are interested in pages about how Sir Crusty Ffanshaw-Cholmondly's valet wrote that his master had seen the Indian Rope trick, followed by pages explaining that he didn't. It might be the book for you. Otherwise the trailer is better than the movie (as they say in Hollywood).
Spoiler alert...
Finally, and most frustrating, did the author see the indian rope trick or not? He writes as though he did but we get no definite information nor reveal.
All in all a very disappointing book.
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