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Trade of the Tricks

Inside the Magician's Craft

Graham Jones


List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/14/2011)


From risqué cabaret performances to engrossing after-hours shop talk, Trade of the Tricks offers an unprecedented look inside the secretive subculture of modern magicians. Entering the flourishing Paris magic scene as an apprentice, Graham M. Jones gives a firsthand account of how magicians learn to perform their astonishing deceptions. He follows the day-to-day lives of some of France’s most renowned performers, revealing not only how secrets are created and shared, but also how they are stolen and destroyed. In a book brimming with humor and surprise, Jones shows how today’s magicians marshal creativity and passion in striving to elevate their amazing skill into high art. The book’s lively cast of characters includes female and queer performers whose work is changing the face of a historically masculine genre.

Praise For Trade of the Tricks: Inside the Magician's Craft

“This book is a celebration and a revelation. Highly recommended.”

— Genii Magazine

“By following some of the world's leading magicians and fully participating in the scene as a kind of sorcerer's apprentice, [Jones] shines a light on [the] community.”

— The Independent

“Readable, scholarly . . . and personal. . . . A fascinating account of an anthropologist visiting another world.”

— Peter M. Nardi

“Look beyond the birthday parties and 10-gallon top hats and magicians have a long history going for them.”

— Maxim

“Studded with humor, insights, revelations about deceptions being created and destroyed.”

— Magicana

"There is a lot to appreciate in this book. . . . The shrewd magician will read it."

— Genii Magazine

“Fascinating. . . . [Jones’s] writing is lively and engaging; Trade of the tricks will fascinate specialist and non-specialist readers alike.”

— Matthew Solomon, University of Michigan

“Fascinatingly lays bare the craft, mores, sociology, anthropology and tendencies of magic. . . . It’s also quite funny.”

— Brian Reffin Smith, U.K.

University of California Press, 9780520270473, 308pp.

Publication Date: September 14, 2011

About the Author

Graham M. Jones is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.