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The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards Hardcover – 3 Feb 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585428450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585428458
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"There is no greater expert on the history of stage magicians than Jim Steinmeyer. His deep knowledge of the subject, combined with a remarkable mastery of magical know-how, makes this book a smart, fantastic read. I can't recommend it enough!"

--Neil Patrick Harris

"Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called 'the master'...Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years."

--Publishers Weekly

"Few historians of magic are as qualified as Jim Steinmeyer to bring Howard Thurston back onstage. The Last Greatest Magician in the World vividly conjures up Thurston's troubled life and great illusions."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Magician and author Jim Steinmeyer rescues a forgotten American icon from Houdini's shadow."
--AARP: The Magazine

"Thurston may have been forgotten, but The Last Greatest Magician In The World ably resurrects his legend and his awe-inspiring magic."
--The Onion A.V. Club

"An erudite, challenging text full of difficult questions"
--Kirkus Reviews
"Jim Steinmeyer knows the outside-in world of magic from the inside; he is a celebrated 'invisible man' - inventor, designer and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century... Steinmeyer writes about events a century ago as vividly as if he had been there; and in a sense, he has been... No author has ever better conveyed the way the love of conjuring consumes a magician's life with magic's joys, terrors and longings."
--Teller (of Penn and Teller), "The New York Times Book Review"
"Steinmeyer's combination of enthusiasm and erudition is a joy."
--Neil Gaiman

There is no greater expert on the history of stage magicians than Jim Steinmeyer. His deep knowledge of the subject, combined with a remarkable mastery of magical know-how, makes this book a smart, fantastic read. I can't recommend it enough!

Neil Patrick Harris

Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called the master Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years.

Publishers Weekly

"Few historians of magic are as qualified as Jim Steinmeyer to bring Howard Thurston back onstage. The Last Greatest Magician in the World vividly conjures up Thurston's troubled life and great illusions."
The Wall Street Journal
Magician and author Jim Steinmeyer rescues a forgotten American icon from Houdini s shadow.
AARP: The Magazine

Thurston may have been forgotten, but The Last Greatest Magician In The World ably resurrects his legend and his awe-inspiring magic.
The Onion A.V. Club

"An erudite, challenging text full of difficult questions"
Kirkus Reviews
"Jim Steinmeyer knows the outside-in world of magic from the inside; he is a celebrated 'invisible man' - inventor, designer and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century... Steinmeyer writes about events a century ago as vividly as if he had been there; and in a sense, he has been... No author has ever better conveyed the way the love of conjuring consumes a magician's life with magic's joys, terrors and longings."
Teller (of Penn and Teller), "The New York Times Book Review"
"Steinmeyer's combination of enthusiasm and erudition is a joy."
Neil Gaiman" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

JIM STEINMEYER is one of today's most renowned historians of stage magic. He is the critically acclaimed author of "The Glorious Deception, Charles Fort," and "Hiding the Elephant," a "Los Angeles Times" bestseller. He lives in Los Angeles. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Steinmeyer's book is very well written and when he switches to storytelling mode it's hugely entertaining. The difficulty lies mostly with the subject matter - Howard Thurston - who Steinmeyer has to spend so much time convincing the reader is a great magician that it starts to feel forced. Moreover, it feels like great swaths of the story are lent to other people who were there talking about how great Thurston was, which starts to feel a lot like 'telling' and less like 'showing' - to borrow movie parlance. As someone with little to no knowledge of the magic industry, I recognize that perhaps the book wasn't written for a layman like me. Those with a deeper knowledge will no doubt take much more from the book than I. Otherwise, Steinmeyer has a wonderfully engaging voice and easy storytelling style and I look forward to more work from him.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
softback, 344 pages, good size print.
24 chapters. photos.
Jim Steinmeyer does it again. Bringing to life another forgotten magician
of the late 19th early 20th century, Howard Thurston lives again in this book.
It goes on the shelf next to 'Hiding the elephant' and 'The Great Deception'.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic! If you have an interest in magic and illusion then you simply have to buy this book. It captures the Golden Age of Magic perfectly and is an important record of the life of Howard Thurston, who was one of the best (if not the best) magicians the world has ever known. It's sad that Thurston is largely unknown to the general public now, but this book is a valuable witness to his legacy.
Just one, ever so minor, gripe. The book is subtitled "Howard Thurston versus Houdini and the battles of the American Wizards". This is a bit misleading and the majority of the book does not focus on any battle between Houdini and Thurston. But don't let this stop you buying this brilliant biography.
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Format: Paperback
AMAZING BOOK, EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED FOR MY COURSE AND IN PERFECT CONDITION.
CAME VERY QUICKLY WITH NO HASSLE
THANKYOU SO MUCH LIFESAVER!!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic illustrations sections written in German , French and English. Covers the history of magic well and includes all of the greats . A must for any magicians library
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Format: Hardcover
This book takes you back to an era of true magic. Jim's writing fills you with the atmosphere of the time and makes you wish you were there to experience it first hand. Highly recommended for anyone interested in magic, and for those who enjoy and relish the background information and the fascinating stories of the greatest magicians who ever lived.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This text book is very detailed on points and keeps close to the specification. It is one of the essentials for this particular subject at AS-level
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