Bring Your Questions for Alex Stone, Author of Fooling Houdini
I get sent about 200 books a year by strangers who want me to provide blurbs. About 199 out of those 200 will walk away empty-handed. Most of the time I don’t even open the book – it would be a full-time job just to read everything sent my way. Occasionally a subject will really interest me, and I will spend some time with a book, but certainly not read it from cover to cover. And about once a year, I actually start reading one of these books and like it so much I can’t put it down.
That book is Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, by Alex Stone. I happened to receive the book not long after I blogged about a book by two mathematicians on the mathematics of magic. That mathematics book was excellent and taught me a lot, but wasn’t exactly a page turner. In contrast, the first 30 pages of Fooling Houdini was some of the most engaging non-fiction I’ve read in a long time.
The book tells the saga of the author, whose pursuit of a Ph.D. in Physics gets derailed by his obsession with magic. Alex is an excellent writer, extremely smart, and has great stories to tell.
I’m not the only one who likes the book. The Boston Globe gave it a strong review.
Alex has graciously agreed to answer reader questions, so let fly with anything you think a fledging physicist turned magician might be able to answer.
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