Alex Stone was kind enough to advance me a copy of his upcoming book, Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, which officially comes out in bookstores June 19th, 2012.
The book is somewhat of an autobiography, following Alex's story to magic-performing excellence. He first makes a complete fool of himself while competing at the Magic Olympics (yes, that exists). After losing he vows to train himself to a point where he can redeem himself at the next Olympics. This takes him on a deep journey through the world of magic, from seeking out private card-handling mentors, to hitting the backstreets of lower Manhattan and talking with the shady Three Card Monte hustlers, to understanding the mathematics of shuffling, to even learning from my good friend Joshua Foer how to memorize a deck of cards.
The book, in my opinion, is a fantastic, easy read. It's very well written and the author does a great job of keeping it fun and engaging the whole way through. I love these kind of stories where the main character takes the reader through a relatively secret, or unknown, sub-culture (in this case, magic). I've always been fascinated by magic, and have even dabbled in some card tricks here and there. But I've always felt overwhelmed with the amount of knowledge out there. Alex puts magic in a very linear, 101, type feel that's easy to follow and comes together nicely in the last few chapters.
I highly recommend this book. If you liked Moonwalking With Einstein, then you'll love this. In fact, I can't think of anyone who wouldn't like this book. Everyone loves magic. Alex's chapters on stealing watches, cold reading, and mapping shuffles were the most fascinating for me and have even led me off into some of his suggested readings.
Pre-order yours now. Poof.