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Sleight of Hand – “Magicians We Love To Hate”

December 14, 2013

Sleight of Hand by Phillip Margolin

card trick

There are a couple nice things about  this book. 1) I got it free from the library and, 2) It is the large print edition. But it is long and there are too many hard-to-distinguish characters and the magic… Well, despite the title it is over quickly. I much prefer a non-fiction article in a Smithsonian Magazine by the magician Teller (of Penn and Teller) who explains some real techniques used in sleight of hand.

For those of you who have not seen the magazine (a friend sent it to me) he tells how magicians: Exploit pattern recognition.  Make the secret a lot more trouble than the trick seems worth. Keep the trickery outside the frame. Depend that nothing fools you better than the lie you tell yourself. And, If you are given a choice, you believe you have acted freely.

In this book the magician is a lawyer. We already hate him. Then we find out his client is a rich business man (don’t we hate the rich even more), and that the lawyer is trying to frame the rich guy (how can we lose). Of course we are going to read to the end to find out how they all get what our prejudice demands, but once we have discovered what happens, the story, the characters, the plot are all very easy to forget. What do you even remember of this review?

I learned something from the Smithsonian article that stayed with me. With Sleight of Hand I learned how to kill a winter afternoon and evening.

1 out of 5_edited-1

Buy from Amazon: Sleight of Hand: A Novel of Suspense (Dana Cutler)

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