Site not look beautiful? Click here

Literature

Book that combines magic, psychology only sleightly interesting

Image

I’m a serious magician and a big-time psychology reader. So when I heard about Sleights of Mind: What the Neurosicience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions, I knew I had to read it.

I was wrong.

The Details

Sleights of Mind: What the Neurosicience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deceptions
Two stars
By Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde
$26

Authors Stephen L. Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde lost me on page four. “Las Vegas,” they write, “is every bit as blisteringly hot in June as Phoenix, and if you take the lap dancing, gambling, and girls into account, it is probably several degrees hotter due to friction.” Yuck.

By page five, I was already skeptical of Macknik and Martinez-Conde. But as the pages rolled on and the authors detailed how magicians exploit neurology to fool spectators, they won me back, to some degree. I found the sections on amodal completion, overt and covert attention and choice blindness particularly fascinating. Other parts, not so much. Many were as unoriginal as the Vegas joke. Seriously, if I have to read about the Monty Hall problem, about invisible gorillas or about wallets that look like guns to police officers one more time, I’m going to switch to romance novels. Nonfiction writers of America, find some new anecdotes.

Share
Photo of Rick Lax

Rick Lax

Rick wrote the books Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas and Lawyer ...

Get more Rick Lax

Commenting Policy

Previous Discussion:

Top of Story